Mike Neuenschwander’s Law of Relational Risk

“Contribution to the relationship that is not met proportionally by the other participants is a loss to the contributor.”

is perfectly fine but that it suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. Relationships are not like accounting. Since there is no reserve currency for relationships it is impossible to balance the books. Since there is no accounting cycle when the books are required to be brought upto date any attempt to balance the books will fail. Their is no consensus about discount rates, they are unregulated. For example if something bad happens to me in a relationship I can, of my own free will, depreciate that into oblivion via forgiveness or I can compound the issue demanding increasing compensation.

Bearing that in mind the rest of his post is all good and useful fun. Mapping economic ideas into the rest of the social sphere is more than fun, it is deeply silly.

0 thoughts on “Pennywise

  1. mtraven

    The tension between economic and other social relations has been around and noticed for a long time:

    The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It… has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”… for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation… Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones… All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
    — Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto

    We live in that world, the Asperger-capitalists have won, and the social-network theorists (and practitioners) are faced with trying to rebuild social networks on top of a highly atomized economic system.

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