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[icon] Notes: Seabright, The Company of Strangers 1. - The World Through Green Almond Eyes
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Subject:Notes: Seabright, The Company of Strangers 1.
Time:08:27 pm
2 "cooperative div o labor amng gen unrelated indivs" is uniquely hmn

3 * written b4 new findings on recent gen adaptations to civ

Cro-Magnon man, anatomically modern. 1st cave ptngs, grave goods & other symb artifacts no more thn 60-70,000 y/a.

22 risk of losing jobs/customers: market instability not lower in preindust socs, tho on local scale. Higher preind risk of productive loss thru disease, crop failure.
23 "[O]ne reason it [market instab] seems so serious is tht a numbr o probs that once seemed evn lrgr now trouble us mch less."

Naomi Klein became a millionaire frm her anti-cap bk No Logo.

27 cooperation depends on balance of rational calculation of costs & benefits vs. reciprocity.

ch 2. Man & Risks o Nature

32 law o large numbers: avg bhvr o lrg grp easier to predict thn smllr grp or indiv.
makes fr stability, reliabilty o econ decision

36 benefits o lrg nums: risk-sharing, specialization, accum o knowledge
37 chimps grps o 60, Australopithecines 70, gradual inc o grp size w evol

39 larger, richer pop supports specialization, pos feedbck

40-1 agriculture enabled army & priesthood. Conquest & slavery. Useless to plunder hunter-gaths b/c no supplies stored.
Army, prsthd, slaves 1st 3 specialized castes.
Prsts specialized symb artifacts, storing knowledge.

42 Until 600 y/a in Eur, a little later in N Am, most families grew own food.

43-5 Ecol destruction in USSR - draining o Aral Sea to grow cotton. specialization w/o attn to real econ costs.

ch 2 Murder, Reciprocity & Trust

49 Murderousness & intelligence coevolved together. Male sexual rivalry. 51 In less intelligent spec, m cn force rival to submit thru phys contest; more int m's cn employ cunning & deception, hence more effective to permanently elim rival
49-50 connection btwn sex & violence "the disturbing tendency o viol to b assoc w a sexual thrill... is not, regrettably, a pathological response o a sick minority bt an evolved anticipation o t inc sxl access th comes frm successfl elim o rivals."

52 Infanticide by unrelated m's in chimps, gorillas. langurs & some nonprimates such as lions.

54-5 rational calculation: showing recip whn antic meeting person again; "strong reciproc":
playing fair even whn nt meeting same ppl again.

55 * robust, replicated experiments showed tht simulated biz firms made higher profits whn paid higher wages.

57 "Mod soc life depnds on a lrg num o ingenious arrangemnts fr reinforcing recip w self-interest."

60 smiling & laughter as signals o trustworthiness: smiles hard to fake, laughter nearl;y imposs.
61 "trusting strangers is a proc o conc & unconc mimicry o t way in wh we trust our fam & friends."

64 weak ties provide more econ opportunities thn strong ties.
65 trust nt merely bilateral, bt involves whole soc, as in prop rights. Jane Jacobs: city safety, "street peace & sidewalk peace", maintained primarily by voluntary, informal actions o citizens.

ch 4 Money

74 small-scale barter netwks -- LE TS, local exchange trading sys
75 barter less efficient tn mny in transactions btwn strangers. useful to avoid tax & regulation, & when mny is untrustworthy.

76 money & sex. luxury, expense. anonymity,artificial trust. "Sexuality is t area o hmn life most permeated by t idea o willing & autonomous exchng btwn partners motivated by convergent desire, & yet it is also t one most poisoned by t suspicion tht t appearance o desire is bt simulation, cloaking a more indirect & mercenary motive. T indirect masquerading as t direct is likewise at mny's very heart."

ch 5

78 1st recorded banks wr storehouses. Lending my hv started w/ grain storehouses.

81 frctnl rsrv lending, susceptibility to panic runs.

86 strictest codes o hnr found amng criminals. "only in a wrld o thieves is hnr nec."

ch 7 The City

historically, cities both hotbeds o creativity & cesspools o filth

ch 8 Water

134-5 property rts in water & assoc rules differ by region, acc to scarcity & diff o wtr transportation; such as E & W of US. Treating wtr as an econ commodity wd facilitate decentralized, local solutions.

ch9 Prices

stock market prices reflect median o trders' subj estimates, auction price t most optimistic.

ch 10 Families & Firms

154 farming thruout hist mainly by families.
auto & aircraft mainly lrg firms, precision eqip by sm firms. electronic assembly cn b done by families

155 farmers banded tgthr to form village settlemnts fr defense. Fortifications, irrigation. Jericho 9000 BC, walls 8000 BC. Catal Huyuk 7000-6000 BC, other cities arose 3000 BC+. Mesopot, Egypt, Ganges, Minoan Crete, China. Armies.

156 * most econ production hs remained w/in capacity of family fr most o hist. Lrg firms 1st began 300-400 y/a.
156-7 Firm organization modeled on military: cntrl, supervision, discipline.
Colonial mercantilism: E. India Co., 1600; Hudson's Bay Co., 1670, etc.chartered, both traded & governed thr territories.

157-8 AS medieval guild sys broke dwn, replaced by flexible, decentralized sys, "putting out". Production in households -- spinning, weaving, etc. Intermediaries -- merchants, financiers, organizers.
Factory sys Eng 18th c. Richard Arkwright, water frame -- centralization o production, "rigorous surveillance" o workers.
159 standardization o wrk methods & parts.
Henry Ford - workers aceptd monotony in return fr higher wage, custs accepted monotony o design fr lwr price.
Mass market developed 1st in US b/c lrg area w/o trade barriers.
lrg scale <-> standardization. automation, surveillance, close oversight o quality.
sm scale: unstandardizable wrk, or quality easy to evaluate by outsders.

161 90& US registered biz's are family biz.
Outgrowing family scale risky, involves taking in outsiders. Cultural diff's: Japanese take in outsiders to family more readily thn Chnse, hv lgr firms.
financing firm growth thru borrow or selling stock. Latter involves giving up cntrl to other shareholders.

165 tech advnc does not lead consistently to either smllr or lrgr size.
18th-19th c. : lrg scl thru stndrdztn & lrg, pwrful machinery.
electricity & telecommunication, early 20th c., allowed centralization thru servicing lrgr area, decentralization thru local availability o pwr & info
info rev, late 20th, early 21st c. standardization of sophisticated procedures, recorded digitally, allows many firms to imitate & compete.
role o mngmnt, organization & face-to-face contact in efficiency o scl

lrg & sm firms adapted to diff niches
172-3 "Only whn t enviro demands lrg-scale coordination, using skills tht cn b transmitted wthn an organization thru personal contact more effectively (w lwr "transactions costs) thn thru t anonymity o markets n informtn networks, will lrg grps enjoy a systematic advantage over sm ones."

173 thru most o 10,000 hist, until abt 500 y/a. knowledge under cntrl o generals, priest, & more rec, master craftsmen.
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liveonearth
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Time:2010-10-19 02:20 am (UTC)
75 barter less efficient tn mny in transactions btwn strangers. useful to avoid tax & regulation, & when mny is untrustworthy.

...so I'll need to collect cash at first, and get my chickens and building supplies later?
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