February 4th, 2012

beartato phd

(no subject)

Feeling kind of crummy and sick today. Finished off Debt: the first 5000 years, which I had picked up in Madison, because --- not gonna lie --- I really liked the cover. The purely history parts of this book were quite interesting, if depressing; the story of money touches on violence and slavery and general straitened entanglement in obligations. Somehow I didn't feel like I really got much out of the book though. He makes a lot of unsupported, ontological-flavored assertions over and over again, for instance that debts always have to be 'between equals' in some sense, and that capital-D Debt (as opposed to 'mere' obligations) are always about distilling otherwise warm'n'squishy, ineffable interpersonal obligations into cold, quantitative calculation. A certain paranoia that I am being rhetorically buffaloed by definition-equivocation is a feeling I have really often when reading social sciencey sort of work, though, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. (5/10)