Monday, July 12, 2010

On Theory and Practice

Which is the chicken, and which, the egg?

During our survey in Amarsinghi, Malda we found that the daily wage rate was determined primarily as per market forces of demand and supply.Now, freshly emerged from econ 101 textbooks, this led me to think...'how exactly does a peasant go about determining wage of hired labour?' Does he, for every crop operation, keep a fixed total amount and divide equally amongst the agricultural laborers (thus, wage is dependent on worker turnout and amount apportioned per operation)? Or does he pay just a little more/equal to the neighboring farmer? In jest, I even thought, he probably draws a demand and supply curve and decides wage at equilibrium (no, i didn't go as far as marginal productivity)...later, it occurred to me..I was trying to interpret reality in terms of economic theory, instead of drawing theory in order to capture reality (human economic interactions in this case).

It’s amazing how everything I perceive is in terms of theoretical frameworks ingrained in my head. Anything that is not comprehensible or intelligible in those terms must be bashed into form by assumptions/abstractions and the like. Somehow, buried amongst piles of secondary observation, vicarious living and swallowed thought-I have erred.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jagged Rock (lyric): Version 1

Yesteryear while I tried to walk,
Far away from here,
Drinking in air,
A poor substitute for beer…

I thought of her,
And him…and you,
I thought of ‘pressing problems’
And the little I could do.

The rain beat down,
Keeping time with heart,
And as I sat down,
Pain shot up a certain part…

I should’ve known better,
Than to perch on jagged rock.
We couldn’t risk a tear,
In the conventional frock.

And as I nursed my pride,
That lone summer day,
A little thought blossomed,
On mind began to play

I no longer cared,
To be astride,
To embrace the fashion,
To be with time.

They say, I should’ve known better,
Than to perch on jagged rock,
But now there’s a gaping rent,
In the conventional frock.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"My memory will save what  is worthwhile. My memory knows more about me than I do. It doesn't lose what deserves to be saved."

"Love? The Brazilian poet Vins de Moraes says it best. No es infinito pero es infinito en cuanto dura. It's not infinite, but it's infinite while it lasts."

--Eduardo Galeano