Present: CA, JC, NB, NO, TB, AB (host)
# AB: Never thought we would get to [discussion] number 9!
# JC: opened in prayer.
[The thread through this discussion is a presentation by AB of the Findings of the First Eight Reith Lectures Discussions. At each point, discussion ensued, some of which enriched what we had discussed earlier, and some of which introduced new points. ]
[AB: The following notes are a transcript (as far as I can) from the audio recording, with a few um-words removed and occasionally some convoluted text replaced by something shorter that expresses what was meant. As has become usual, this is then augmented with headings, comments and emboldening some main points. ]
--- On Time
-- An attempt at explaining Dooyeweerd's view of time
-- A Better Understanding of Time
-- Economic Time: Time in Economic Activity
-- A Dooyeweerdian Understanding of Economic Time
-- On abuse of measurement of time
--- Finding: Using Dooyeweerd's Aspects to Understanding the Widening
--- Finding: Christian Perspective Helps
-- Need more discussion
-- The gospel puts the economy upside down
-- Importance of the Heart (Mindset, etc.)
--- Need for Rethink
-- Do We Need McSonalds?
-- Rising above the conflict
-- Example: Market v. Planned Economy
--- Finding: On What We Achieved in Discussion Christian Values
--- Where Now? Possible Future Activities / Projects
--- Christian and Dooyeweerdian Perspectives
--- How We Valued These Discussions
-- Critiquing Mark Carney
--- What (Else) We Might Contribute
--- Further Discussion with CA
# AB: Have collected points from the previous 8 discussions. Then abstracted findings from what we have done.
# AB: explained what he did: Went through the notes from the lectures one by one, looked for main points and started putting them down. After a while he realised that he could group them into sections and subsections.
# I grouped them into overall ideas like values and poverty. First section after introduction was overall ideas, then mechanisms in economic activity, the problems, then Christian ideas, then Dooyeweerdian ideas, then how to engage with mainstream thinking, the conclusion.
# The whole collection is contained in a page entitled RETHINKING THE ECONOMY, WITH THE HELP OF A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE.
# AB: The Conclusion contains findings that abstract away from our individual points to findings that might make a contribution. See Conclusion in the file. [z940]
# It begins by explaining, "The material above is from points actually discussed. There is of course much that we did not discuss. Hence what follows is not just a summary but reflectively abstracts away from the specific points, looking at what we did more than what we said."
# AB: The conclusion has three sections.
# 1. I realised that we kept on widening the perspective. Some of them are what people already do [widenings that what some thinkers already propose]. Some are fairly unique or unusual to us.
# [2. Systematizing that widening, by Christian values and Dooyeweerd's aspects. 3. The benefits of a Christian perspective. - both discussed later] [05.10]
# AB: One was that we Widened "the economy" to "economic activity"; [z941]
# That was just a general thing, the economy as a kind of structure, economic activity is what individuals get up to but it includes the economy. So it was just a widening [of scope]. I don't know whether "economic activity" is a valid concept.
# Then [second] we widened economic activity to see it as one of several human activities / [That is discussed in next section]
# NB: [referring back to the idea of economic activity] Do you mean "economic" in a Dooyeweerdian sense as a modality, or as it is in everyday use, dealing with money?
# AB: A bit of both, but not just money. I suppose it is the economic modality of Dooyeweerd. It is very much to do with money, but we found ourselves discussing non-monetary things. It's to do with resources, and so on. It was intended to be a faily inclusive idea.
[AB: To Discuss, Argue: Why it is valid to see it that way. ]
# AB: The second one widened the idea or economic activity to see is as one of several human activities. So the idea of multi-aspectual economy; economic activity contributing to the rest of life and the rest of life affecting economic activity. [z942]
# One of the subsections is something like: Non-economic Contributors to Economic Activity. We talks about things like love and so on.
# [TB joined us. AB told him what we had done]
# AB: [Third widening] We widened presuppositions. [In the file, "the presupposition of Good to recognise Harm (recognising that productive economic activity can do harm as well as good)" ] [z943]
# [Example:] There was a presupposition in Mariana Mazzucato and so on that productive economic activity is good. We recognised that harm could be done by economic activity. Especially the environmental idea, like that a lot of economic activity generates climate change emissions and biodiversity loss.
# NB: That is a point that is quite a sharp one, and potentially a very productive contribution- here. [z944]
# NB: Because the dogma in economic thought [z945] is that any time two people agree to an exchange of some sort, they must both be benefiting, or they wouldn't agree to the exchange. And therefore good must come about as a result of economic exchange.
# And so pointing out that the externalities involved can also have harm - in one sense it's not revolutionary in that everyone recognises it intrinsically - but our economic indicators and statistics are not really capable of dealing with it. [z946]
# NB: I think that's an important one. *** [z947]
# JC: I second that absolutely. While I've been listening / happy to be part of this / is to see how all of you ??spurn?? to see how to expand which we included - is not externalities but part of the economic exchange. [z948]
# JC: So kind of expand the idea of what exchange should include as a "what good should be defined as." [z949]
# That's what NB just said kind of really harps on that.
# AB:: What did you say about externalities?
# JC: Right now we're still analysing the idea of - bascially.
# NB's example: I exchange something, you buy it, OK, that's good for each other - but what are all the other things that must be ???? to facilitate that exchange that aren't just factored as a good for my consumption or his selling, or his consumption and my selling.
# Is there a way to broaden the lens so that the carbon footprint, exploitation of certain workers [harms of various kinds], all these things can be encompassed within the totality of the exchange? So that decrease their existence as externalities and puts them in the middle as part of the exchange itself, to be included as the scope of what is a good and what is exchange.
# NB: If I hire a hitman to assassinate someone, the exchange between me and the hitman is one of mutual agreement that we both wish to do this transaction. The fact that there is something terrible going on in the sitution is invisible to economics as we currently envision it. Everyone recognises there is something bad going on, but it's not an economic bad thing going on in our current way of thinking. [z950] ***
[AB: Proposal: It seems to me that the idea of economic activity as the economic aspect of multi-aspectual human functioning, might offer that. See also the bit below.
- Because human functioning in each aspect can be both good and harmful; it gives us a way to bring in consideration of harm.
- Because of multiple irreducibly distinct aspects, this giges a way to bring in multiple kinds of externalities, insofar as they can be defied as (meaningful by) extra-economic aspects.
- Because of Dooyeweerd's dogma that all aspects are equally meaningful and must all be considered, in principle, all these are brought into the centre of what it is to be an exchange (or economic activity).
Dooyeweerd's idea of inter-aspect relationships can help give structure and understanding to that bringing-in.] [z951] ***
[AB: Terminology: Check out: Might "exchange" be synonymous with "economic activity" or at least one large part of it? Is exchange the fundamental economic activity? Possibly not; maybe there are economic activities that are not exchange. ] [z952]
# NO: I agree that this is an essential point here. But part of the issue, the way I would say, it's the measurement process where we've reduced economics to price. Economics itself has always looked at issues beyond just the transaction. It's very concerned about resource management, and things like that. [z953]
# But the problem is we've let this financial horse run away. It's only focused on those dollar transactions. That's why I think bringing these externalities into play somehow as JC is, that's a critical thing. [z954]
# CA: I was just thinking that the net zero [target] by 2050 is the best thing that happened because now every economy is trying to target that and work toward that. [z955]
# So there's a lot of new research is coming up, about what are the economies in different countries, what are they actually doing. And what is the ??push?? that they are putting to the firms and organisations especially to manufacturing companies, especially on emissions and things like that. There's a lot more research is coming out right now, about how they're working towards that net zero.
# But I think the information is all over the place, it's everywhere, so the question is, "How we bring this into one place, to say that there is progress?" Some things?? are being made, so let's look at it. [z956]
# I think this is biggest problem that we have right now. [z957]
# AB: That's interesting, because I think we can make a contribution there with Dooyeweerd's aspects. We haven't actually discussed this, but it's something I might mention further down my er findings: Dooyeweerd's aspects give us a way of understanding types of good and types of harm. Because it sees everything in terms of - well not just human functioning but the whole creation functioning, in all its aspects, of which humans are a major part of course - and economic functioning is one of those. And in every aspect there's good and harm, and all the aspects interweave with each other and affect each other. Our functioning in each / [z958] *** [see proposal above]
# So I think we could offer Dooyeweerd's aspects as a way of answering that question. [z959]
# What do you think, CA?
# CA: I think this is what I was thinking towards. Our discussion like: we need a framework to work with.
[AB: The actual Finding was that we need a systematic basis for widening in the way we propose above. However, CA introduced the need for a framework - which is what helps us be systematic. ]
# CA: If not, we can be talking about anything and everything.
[AB: Talking about "everything and anything" is probably valuable, because it might indicate that we are open to the diversity and complexity that is the real world, that is down-to-earth issues of everyday life with economic activity. Is that so? ]
# CA: And at the end of the day, we end up with so many things and we said "How do we put this into perspective?" Someone else is going to shoot you and say "Look, you forgot to talk about this. How about that? How about this?" So we need to have a comprehensive framework that sort of frames our discussion to say "These are the things, these are the things we are addressing." [z960] ***
[AB: Clarify: Does "framework" refer to two things there? (a) a conceptual model, a way of understanding things; (b) a scoping mechanism, to help discussions focus. I think she meant (a) but maybe that helps (b). ]
# JC: With the implementation of a logical framework, like a an actual logical framework, by international developmental ??office/help us??
# CA: Well, we can actually build our framework, our own framework. We can can say these are the important factors to consider and we can actually build our own framework or we can use an existing framework that's already in place. So in a way we need some kind of a boundary to work within. [z961]
# If not, it's like all over the place; people would get confused. Because we've covered so much and we've talked about so many aspects from so many different angles. [z962]
[AB: That we have done so, talking about so many different things, sounds good to me. Many theories try to narrow down, but we have welcomed the full extent of diversity and complexity of economic activity, especially real-life economic activity. So, if we can find a framework with which to address this, this would be a contribution. Dooyeweerd's aspects might do so.]
[AB: ACTION CA. Later, CA volunteered to look out some frameworks.]
[AB: Proposal: To explore the use of Dooyeweerd's aspects as a framework of the kind CA is thinking about, and understand how it links with other frameworks.]
# AB: This is the great thing about [Dooyeweerd] that he tried to understand the whole diversity of everyday life, if you like, there's so many angles.
# JC: In a way ??? theory of change.
[recording difficult to hear for what JC says]
# If we're looking at a logical framework model. Just as an experiment in this process, establishing this path forward. The theory of change is applying Dooyeweerd's aspects to broaden an understanding of economic exchange.
# Like you know ??queenly?? said, what we've all kind of read up on, or participated within, is the reflection, articulation and wrestling with how the aspects applied into economic exchange, to??that broaden our understanding and create more shalom.
# So the goal would then be - our objective our goals would be - out of that.
# So we have that framework we establish then, Dr Basden all ??put?? notes that we have had, and everything we have, is kind of already a framework leading to this. [z963]
# So a recommentation path, indicators and all the other outcomes, become really ??nice?? than just out of all the work you have already compiled. [z964]
# AB: What we've got is the idea of widening the presupposition of good to recognise harm - I think several of you said that's a really good important point, so we've discussed that.
# AB: This is possibly more accepted by lots of people.
[AB: e.g. Carney, Dasgupta, Mazzucato]
# We've widened:
# AB: [useful summary of our discussions of Christian values] Initially we thought of Christian values as among those [values that cannot be measured] and then later on we found that we were suggesting how we might actually measure Christian values, put up metrics etc., recognising all the time that if we were to try to measure Christian values, or anything else, it's not going to be accurate. There's going to be flaws in it, but it might have some usefulness. [z965]
[the following was actually said below after NO's suggested edit, but it fits here better.]
# AB: In fact I feel that possibly the [finding] "widening the money-economy to all resources" and the "widening values to that cannot be measured" and then the next one of "Widened numerically-measured value (e.g. money) to qualitative value and "pseudo-quantitative" (of 'better / worse')" - all those three maybe go together into one widening. [z966]
[AB: Above, we have already combined the first two into widening the idea of value. ]
# AB: One of the things we discussed was: what is the role of measurement? And there's a little section on that.
# NO: [a suggested edit] I think - and this is a terrific job, getting this all together. But there's a section in the middle that says "widening the economy to include resources of all kinds of values". You are referencing 3.1 on Markets, but you may also want to reference §4, where we talk about the economy and current theory not working: §4.1, §4.2. Because the reason to widen this is part of the issues we came up with in discussions in §4. So you may just want to add that reference to that area; I think it could go there more than the next one. AB: Thank you very much. [AB added that reference.]
[a bit moved above from here]
# NB: Did we come to a conclusion, did we finish discussing to our satisfaction, the tension that can be felt in measuring things that aren't measurable? That sometimes the attempt to measure something that's not measurable actually does violence to it. [Example] if my kids ask "which of us do you love more?" they are implying that I can measure how much I love them and assign a number and one of those numbers is going to be bigger than another, and that very question does violence to my love for my kids. And so when we talk about measuring, is there a point at which we have to say, "I will not attempt to measure that," no matter how useful it might be to have a nice clear measurement of it, because the very attempt to measure would do violence to the thing I'm valuing. [z967] ***
# TB: I guess there's an evaluation that's then needed as the only alternate, and it's where there's a red line between measurement and evaluation. [z968] ***
# And I guess that's all down to crediting what's visibly credible. And I suppose expressing concern maybe on what is not necessarily credible. [z969]
# NB: The distinction between measuring and evaluation is very helpful. I can evaluate my love for my kids without attempting to measure it.
# NO: That's an interesting comment there. Difference between measuring and evaluation - is that you were saying TB?
# TB: Yes. And I think I might have pointed that out when we were discussing before. # AB: I think I remember the idea of violence coming out. I think I missed the idea of evaluation versus measurement. We did have the idea of assessment; was that the same thing? # TB: Yes, that's probably what it was. There's certainly something along those lines we did come across. Because it seems what you would naturally end up bringing up, because you cannot measure - I might have alluded to. But that's quite well illustrated by what we have in UK universities, known as module evaluation questionnaires, there's one part where you give a number to rate your lecturer, and there's a bit where you write what you think about your lecturer. And everyone says the latter is always more useful even though some comments are rather nasty. [z970] [laughter] [See Measuring and Assessing.]
# AB: [told a story example of that - laughter]
# AB: They actually took aspects on board. There's people all over the world, especially in India, who will be thinking "aspects" for the rest of their lives.
# JC: [Have to leave.]
# JC: A question that I have, wanted to ask throughout this time, I think at the beginning of our conversation: Something I've noticed in a lot of the works that I've followed from from all of you - and AB even in your work and you and I have talked about this as well as /
# JC: We're still looking through an element of almost two-dimensional space, we're not really examining time as a variable. [z972]
# and I've never really been sure how time interacts with the aspects appropriately. retrocipatancy and the expectancy of the aspectual things.
# Is there a way we can anchor a measurement of time around a separate utility point of measurement outside of money?
# That good that we're tryihng to establish is in a way getting beyond the dollar as the measurement of good. Measurement structure is still "What's our quarterly earnings? What's the overall marketing impact of xyz? What's the turn in the economy on certain things, xyz?" The way that we can say, "What is the overall growth of x??? in this environment because this economy changed in this way? (e.g. green variable or something else) that would impact on this?"
# So I wanted to put that in there, on the record for consideration.
# I cannot yet get an understanding of where time folds into this. So, maybe ??? another aspect.
# NO: I think that's a critical thing.
# NO: In my view, we should - I would be bold and say, "Let's just adopt days; like a day." So many accumulated good days, so many deterioration of the day, count. [AB: See earlier discussion.]
# If we don't move off of the dollar to measure things, we're always going to get caught up in issues of price or some things that all of a sudden bec0me monetary. You can monetize a day or an hour but that's not an issue, but I think there's some other index that we need to end up with.
# AB Actually, the thing about days, I think it might be in the z-points file as an example of one of the qualitative things.
[AB: The following is confused on the recording, partly because AB was 'thinking on his feet'. So, instead, jump to the explanation written afterwards, below]
# AB: However, I think that time - I can answer JC's question a little bit, initially.
# In my understanding of Dooyeweerd understanding of time, time is actuality, time is what actually happens.
# [the following is confused] Time is not tramrails down which we go, down which the universe goes, even if there's lots of points where you can switch one to the other and so on, and that could account for 'free will' and all these sort of things. No, it's more - erm - have you heard of the African view of time, where time is something you create - Now I think possibly Dooyeweerd - it's not clear in Dooyeweerd because he's never actually clear - but I think time - he seems to be talking about time, as that which each aspect creates, no each subject creates as it functions in each aspect.
# NO: Is that anything like Bergson's duration? # AB: ??? Bergson's duration, and he [Dooyeweerd] criticises it, but I think there's something similar to that. Bergson's duration is the idea of - or duree - is this idea - I don't understand it; does he have the idea of duree as something that is created by the psychological subject? # NO: No, I think what he says is "Your duration is the actual moment, the present. And time is really a construct that our mind does."
# Because there is no future, the past isn't there, there's duration. And so his view is that duration is a fundamnetal thing. He gets into spacetime issues and that sort of stuff as well, where he kind of equates this duration and space as the fundamental construct of life.
[AB: Dooyeweerd's ideas of functioning in response to aspectual law is likewise only present in the very responding. That responding is the present. The past is what has happened and the future is possibility enabled by aspectual law. ]
# AB: Dooyeweerd's actually does go that way, but he goes far beyond that. He goes far beyond Bergson. [in that Dooyeweerd recognises more aspects or kinds of time than Bergson does]
# So let's take physical time /
# Dooyeweerd says "Time has all the aspects, or there's - so there's physical time, there psychological time, there's social time, there's historical time, and so on. And it's not [so much] that these are different timescales (yes they are) but the important thing is, what actually happens in time.
# So physical time is - ok think simply of gravity, some planets and suns and so on and there's if you like the law of the physical aspect something like gravity. And planets revolve around suns because they are responding to the law of gravity. And their actual revolving around suns [their present] is because of obedience to that law.
# And without obeying the law, time wouldn't happen.
# And if you go down to the quantum level you get similar things.
# OK now take biological time. Biological time is to do with birth, growth, maturity, death, and these sort of things, and it's cyclical. So let's suppose we had a biological universe in which nothing grew. Then there would be no - it would be static, there would be no biological time. [confusing]
# Then psychological time - and this is linked to Bergson's duration, he was focusing on psychological time, our feeling of time: that's different still.
# Historical time is not just dates, it's what makes, it's if you like the "causality" of the historical or formative aspect. So, the bullet in Sarajevo that started the first world war - whereas the person firing the bullet was probably breathing at the same time, but that's not important in historical terms. And so it's what humans deliberately do that causes things happening in historical time.
# NB: So would Dooyeweerd say that human functioning in the psychic aspect creates psychological time? # AB: Yes. "Generates" is probably a better word. He doesn't actually say it like that; that's my interpretation of what he was trying to get to.
# NO: I would say that's very similar to what Bergson was trying to say. # AB: Yes, I think it is, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was informed by Bergson, though he also found ways of criticising him. I'm not sure.
# NO: It certainly is interesting to look at it on those different planes of you know, biological, historical, you know, because time is looked at differently.
[The following was not spoken during the discussion but tries to give a better understanding, from which we might be able to take JC's challenge and discuss time in economics.]
--- start of added explanation ---
# Time, Dooyeweerd noted, is different in many aspects, e.g.:
# Time, and our experience of it, has a law side and subject side
# For more on this, and examples of each aspect, and many of Dooyeweerd's statements, see page on Dooyeweerd's Theory of Time.
# We could say that it is the responding of the subject to aspectual law that 'generates' time. Time is not some kind of container or tramrails within which all happens, certainly not fixed as a 'fate', not even a tramrail with points allowing 'free will'. It is not even a fixed boundary or length, not tramrails at all. Rather the subject side of time is something that the Creation itself 'generates'. (For Christians, is this why Jesus told his disciples even he did not know when things would happen, and only the Father did, and that the times and seasons are determined by the Father - maybe in response to what actually occurs? For physicists, was this the discovery that Einstein made, that the 'speed' of time depends on physical and kinematic context?) Time is not fixed / closed possibility but is open possibility.
# NO asked about how this links with Bergson, and the idea there is only present, and 'no' past or future. 1. We may understand Bergson as focusing on the psychical aspect of time, and part of his work was to convince us that it is fundamentally different from clock time, so he recognised (at least) two distinct kinds of time. 2. Dooyeweerd's view goes beyond Bergson, in recognising fifteen kinds of time, one per aspect. 3. We might understand Bergson's idea of the present as the very responding to aspectual laws. 4. We may understand past as what has already happened, and it may be viewed via the lens of each aspect differently. 5. We may understand future as possibility (plural, undetermined) opened up by aspectual law according to the present situation.
# This implies responsibility for what occurs.
# Pistic time includes 'the End Time' in which "the books will be opened" - which I take to be the record of all that occurred during the temporality of this current Creation.
--- end of added explanation ---
[AB: The following conversation occurred after the confused account set out earlier, without the better explanation above. So understand it in that light. I will present a possible understanding of economic time below. The discussion brought up several points that demand serious consideration. ]
# NB: What is the nature of economic time?
# AB: Don't know; that's one I haven't thought about much.
# NO: I think what we're saying is, time is more than dollars and cents
# AB: It's to do with economic functioning.
# TB: But there's other interactions that make the economic function happen. [z973]
# Whereas biological and gravity of course are happening by nature, aren't they. So yes, the whole world, every human could just be static and the economy wouldn't more. So it's like statistical analysis / [z974]
# NB: Economic functioning is about wise use or foolish use of limited resources. So when my wise use has its repercussions, those repercussions happen in economic time. [z975] [AB: helpful]
# AB: [AB: quibble - probably one that confuses!] Wouldn't say happening in economic time. They would be: that is economic time geneated. As we function, we generate time - now that's my interpretation of what Dooyeweerd was trying to get at. So it's not - and I'm still working through how to understand it, how to express it /
# TB: Is it occupying time? Or is it occupying time with an economic activity? [z976]
# Because the idea of creating time it's almost like getting to the realm of believing in a flat earth, isn't it. Because time obvious time cannot be - it's a scalar quantity. [z977]
# NB: Occupying psychic time to generate economic time, and our occupying of psychic time relies on the fact that physics that is generating its own kind of time that our biochemistry can do what it does in. [z978] *** [an expression of inter-aspect dependency]
# NO: I don't know if this is a good example / I think this is really interesting, this idea of economic time. It may go back to some kind of measurement.
# So, for example, again, if you go to a factory and we measure days without loss through accidents. That's sort of an economic time construct (isn't it?) because we're measuring the fact that there has been good for that many man-hours of ??dafur??.
# NB: When I think about economic functioning as wise use of limited resources, frequently time is one of the most limited resources that I'm trying to use wisely. [z979] ***
# And this discussion makes me question whether that's a proper way to think of the issue.
# AB: It's not, in some ways, because the resource that 'time' is, I think is probably not econoomic time, it's time in a different aspect. It might be clock time ("I've got to get everything done before 5 o'clock.") Clock time is physical time. Or it might be social time, which is possibly to do with agreements of when we have to do things by. [z980] [useful]
# I'm not sure; that's off the top of my head.
# But it's not - I think, going back to JC's thing, even if we haven't worked this out: The idea of the time thing is very much linked with functioning.
# Now, NO's suggestion of using days as a measure instead of dollars could be treated very thinly as just "Oh yes, this is another thing: you can equivalence days and dollars by dividing by average wage." But it's not that. Let the days in which there is no loss due to accidents is possibly to do with the economic functioning that people are careful and don't have accidents - so there's an economic functioning there. What do you think?
[AB: Given the new explanation above, economic time might be understood as follows. Sadly, Dooyeweerd did not clearly discuss what was meant by ecomomic (aspect of) time, but he left a few pointers.
One was "when I spend the scanty time that I have at my disposal in a definite economic manner" [NC I:34] - which is an example of the subject side of economic time that is meaningful in the economic aspect. That feels to me a rather thin example. NO's idea of using days without injury as a measure, may be another, in that what is measured is our "definite economic manner" in being careful not to have an accident. (Or is "care" there more juridical?) Likewise NB's "wise use has its repercussions, those repercussions happen in economic time" refers to the subject side.
(Note: We might analyse the nature of having to get something done by 5 o'clock as follows. Ask, why 5 o'clock? 5 o'clock is clock time, physical not economic. It may be that some physical event will occur then, e.g. volcano erupt or tide come in. But more often it is because 5 o'clock is a socially-agreed clock time - social aspect of time. Answer: social time, agreeing to get stuff done by an agreed time. But on what basis do we agree? Do we always have to communicate to each other, saying "give me it now"? No, we agree on something that transcends the social and is thus a reasonable basis on which to agree. Clock time, physical, is common to all physical things, and is thus such a basis. Other bases might be biotic time, "when you've grown up".)
But what is the law side of economic time, what is its before-and-after? Think about economic aspectual law, such as "frugality leads to prosperity"; frugality is the 'before', prosperity is the 'after'. This is the the Micawber Principle. However, I don't feel that is the whole of it. What is economic time in exchange, or in loans, etc.?
The inter-aspect dependency of economic functioning (time) on psychical functioning on phsycial functioning was pointed out.
Is the idea of "occupying time" an unhelpful idea? On one hand, yes, because it connotes the idea of time as a container rather than something generated through responding to aspectual law. However, it could also slightly imply the being-in that is responding to aspects, especially if we see meaningfulness as an 'ocean', something in which we dwell. Further, occupation as such has an economic meaningfulness (also spatial), and the idea of the container is as a limitation. I'm not sure where that fits in.
Finally, time as scalar quantity. Time is only a scalar when we make it such. Scalar is a single measured quantitative amount. There is an important analogical echo of the quantitative in all time, in that it is sequential, there is a direction to it that differs fundamentally from the reverse - as fundamentally as more differs from less in their quantitative meaningfulness. This, perhaps is another reason why clock time has become so important in economic activity.
Further discussion is needed.
# NO: [excursus?] I do want to mention something, and again maybe this is /
# It seems to me that we should have a general caveat that any type of measurement system, based on Christian values or whatever, is going to be subject to abuse - because unfortunately we humans have inventive little minds. And so, it seems to me that no matter what we came up with, and if it was propagated in an administrative form, it's going to get - there will abuse somewhere.
# NB: If you want to have a lot of days without accidents then when an accident happens you classify it as not-an-accident. [laughter] That's the abuse. Someone cuts themselves, you say "Oh don't go to the nurses' station for that; then we'll lose our ???" # NO: Days like that happen! things like that happen. And ther're going to happen even if we come up with a measurement like CA like we're talking about - think it's just a caveat: when we measure things, we're subject to some level of abuse. Maybe that's a bad thing.
# NB: The analogy is when you teach a class and you're going to measure what students have learned by giving them an exam, they're going to try to game the system by doing well on the exam without having to do all the work of learning everything else you're trying to teach them. # NO: Like writing stuff on your palm, like they used to do?
# AB: [from the Conclusion] "Seeing the economy this way can be facilitated and explored by using Dooyeweerd's aspects and idea of multi-aspectual human functioning."
# I'm now going to add "and his idea of time". And there's other things.
# AB: Our discussion has shown: in trying to understand these things, we've found Dooyeweerd a natural ally. # NB: To be fair, we find Dooyeweerd an ally then we try to understand these things! # AB: OK. But perhaps the word "naturalW" helps because it's not just a matter of finding Dooyeweerd an ally and then forcing it; it is somehow natural. [z981]
[AB: See above for how Dooyeweerd helps.]
# AB: The next point is that "They can be further enriched by a Christian perspective, which takes seriously the reality of human sin and the possibility of redemption that is made possible by God in Christ and not just human effort."
# If this is our rethinking of economic activity, then Dooyeweerd can help us especially intellectually, but then they can be further enriched by a Christian perspctive, which takes seriously the reality of human sin and the "possibility of redemption that is made possible by God in Christ and not just human effort."
[AB: There is also Christian values, but these link with Dooyeweerd's aspects]
[AB: However, the idea of things going wrong is different from the idea of human sin. Things might go wrong because 'the other' has sinned or 'circumstances' 'sinned'. The Christian idea of sin is that I myself] have sinned, and that I am culpable, not others (or regardless of others). That sounds harsh, but in fact it's immensely freeing. When I accept my own culpability, regardless of others, then I can be forgiven and restored, and things can be put right (because of God's redemption). That is good news.]
# NB: When we discuss a Christian approach to the economy, one of our starting places has to be the economy of the gospel. The economy of the gospel is upside down: "The first shall be last", "love your enemy", "if someone demands your shirt you give your coat too."
# And the way in which we think of economic exchange of "It's good for me and good for you, so lets do this," doesn't fit into a Sermon On The Mount ethos of "Doesn't matter if it's good for me; I'm doing this because I love you." [z983] ***
# So I don't know how to move forward from there to bringing these values to the world, other than trying to cultivate them in my own heart.
# AB: If I remember that, this "good for me, good for you" is # CA: Pareto effiency. # AB: And we were suggesting that there's an expansion of that to say, "If it's bad for anything, even if good for both of us, then we don't do it." [See Pareto Efficiency] But then I think what NB said is even another expansion of it.
# NO: So actually, the thing you just said, "if it's bad for me and you we don't do it" that's almost like Kant's Categorical Imperative.
# But to talk to what NB mentioned, you cannot get to that sense of preciousness, of bigger things, to get out of the economic transaction, unless you start with the proposition that these things have a piety, a precious value to them, because they're gifts.
# And if we could somehow get people to adopt the mindset that we're dealing with somethings that are not just free, they're a gift, and you have to treat it with piety (I don't know what the Dooyeweerdian term is for that "pecious" or something, a sense of the holy, sense of /). So these earthly commodities, these resources, are not just subject to economic transactions, they are subject to a higher standard of behaviour, because we've been given them. We're obligated to - like your parents, you didn't choose your parents (# CA: Yeah) and your parents wiped your butt when you were young and fed you, and you have pieistic??highest obligation to them, which, in religion [The Jewish Law], is a commandment.
# CA: In Chapter 1 in Economics they talk about scarcity. They say that all resources are scarce. but what we want to achieve is unlimited. But the resources is limited. That is the first chapter, that they start off with. Then they say "Now let's see how we can work from here." [z984]
# NO: But the problem with that is - that's a fine premise for looking at economic transactions and monetizing things, but the premise of them being gifts is different, moves you to a different place than scarcity. [z985] [AB: c.f. Rethinking]
# AB: Well, actually, it's interesting because I think Dooyeweerd put scarcity or [better] frugality, as not something to escape from but a positive good. And so, if the fundamental drive of economics is to achieve unlimited resourcews then that is fundamentally wrong. # NB: It's not to achieve unlimited resources, it's to achieve unlimited benefit from limited resources.
# CA: Yes. Unlimited wants. You want to achieve your unlimited wants. But what they are trying to say is the resources that we have is limited. So how do we move from here. This is how it starts off in economics.
# NB: Which we are critiquing in some sense. [z986] ***
[AB: Unlimited goals: formative aspect, irreducible to economic, and the idea of limit is meaningless in the formative aspect. (Though the idea of difficulty or barrier might indeed be meaningful.) ]
# CA: Yes, so now they are coming up with sustainability: "Let's now start to build something which is more sustainable, like electric cars instead of petrol and diesel, because these are limited resources and they are going to disappear some day, so let's talk about electicity." - how it's moving. [z987]
# NO: That sounds like a good move, but it still doesn't put things into people's hearts. *** [z988]
# CA: Like they have an obligation to look after the resources. [z989]
# NB: The difficulty is that I don't know how to grow that mindset in my own heart, in my own head, so I certainly don't know how to set up an economic system that encourages others to develop that mindset. [= heart]
# But I think that is the challenge we're faced with, is a way of looking at economics that helps people develop that mindset. Or that heart-set really. [z990] ***
[AB: In people's hearts or mindsets must be more than awareness of obligation; it must be a desire and commitment to fulfil that obligation, even at cost to oneself. How to develop this: Is this where the gospel and the Holy Spirit come in? The Holy Spirit changes people's hearts and wills, so that people want, in themselves, to do the right thing, serving and caring for Creation, rather than serving themselves and assuming Creation serves them. ]
# NO: Yes. I think, again, I'll think about it some more. But, to me, you have to adopt the pricniple that it's not all about you but about wht you got. That's a precious thing; loke life: we don't let people get killed for no reason, because life is precious. [z991]
# AB: Let me go back to this idea that frugality is good - limiting ourselves. Two things:
# So the idea of limitedness is actually a positive good. [z994]
# NB: We can see examples of that even in economics. We can see the beauty of a diamond, its beauty comes in large part because of its scarcity. It is objectively beautiful, but if you walked into a rook full of three feet of diamonds on the floor, it would lose its sparkle real quickly. So the scarcity is part of what gives it its aesthetic impact.
# CA: But what is actually happening now in the economy. Let's just look at that.
# For example, we have shops selling things that are unnecessary. Things are making people fat, things are putting people in hospital - things that are unnecessary. [z995]
[AB: c.f. non-essentials]
# Now, why do we have those shops? Now, ... as long as gov taking taxes, as long as the government is getting money out of them, those shops are going to exist. And you can actually question: "Why do they exist, if they are putting people in hospitals?" [z996]
[AB: More broadly, this is the idea of economic activity doing harm.] [z997]
# NB: They are paying customers. # CA: Yes. So the governemnt is going to say indirectly / This is why it's so confusing, because the government says, "Everybody, you must look after your health so you don't overwhelm the hospitals here, but at same time we also are getting some taxes out of McDonals, KFC and all these people, so we're not going to shut them down. So, what's going on?
[AB: Rethink: Looks like we need to rethink the tax regime as well as good, harm and useless (GHU) in economic activity. ]
# AB: That's really interesting, because I've got this feeling that there's something wrong, deeply wrong, with every structure in the world. It's not just "There's the structures and we happen to use if wrongly, individuals happen to behave wrongly. Some of these very structures are wrong. You know: this "everyone look after your health, and at the same time we get taxes out of KfC and so on" - that in itself is not just an economic fact or a societal fact. It's actually fundamentally wrong in God's eyes. [z999]
[AB: That probably helps that rethink; and it could be a contribution of Christian thinking. ] [z9a0]
# CA: Yes, like right now, I'm following a diet without salt, suger and oil. And I'm looking for products that don't have this, and it's so difficult. Even though those products are like pure products like beans: why cannot we have just beans with no salt or sugar? I'm looking for plantain without salt and sugar; why don't you have them? Why do you have to put salt and sugar and oil, and all sorts of things in them. This is ridiculous. So I'm more aware now to read the packaging, and find out: "Why do you do this; it's so unnecessary." If people want to put salt, they can put it themselves. [z9a1]
[AB: This could illustrate the need for rethink.]
# NO: Be careful here. Because the market would say / I can go out and get navy beans that are just raw beans and boil them for myself. But the point is, if you adopt that idea, then we should all become Amish people, living on farms somewhere just producing what we can produce ourselves, and we lose the benefit we've had.
# Now, you might not like the global economy, but today there are fewer people dying of starvation today than there ever has been as far as we can measure.
[AB: Our rethink needs to take into account both the harm but also the good that economic activity does. Neither accept nor reject the status quo unquestioningly but work out what is happening. I think that Dooyeweerd's aspects might help.] [z9a2]
# NO: That's an ultimate good because death by starvation is one of the most horrific things you can endure. So, the idea that McDonalds is paying taxes, well the taxes should go to the people who provide care and service to them. So, if you scale the economy down to the basics, then you're probably going to lose out on some the benefits that innovation has given us over the years and more people will starve to death.
# CA: It's more like a cycle. I'm going to eat all McDonalds, go to the hospital, end up in there, increasing the government expenditure in hospitals (the have to build more hospitals) - it's like a cycle, just going round and round.
# NO: But we're ignoring the benefits. We're ignoring improvements in lifestyle and longevity. That's come not because some government did it, it's come because the whole globa economy have moved to progress to new things and new treatments. You cannot even imagine what's going on right now in medicine, what we're going to be able to do to help cure people though the DNA that we've discovered. It's remarkable.
# So, if you scale back to an agrarian economy, you lose all that. [z9a3]
# AB: I was going to say, what's wrong with the Amish? Maybe God's plan was that we all be Amish. I guess that the Amish are just as happy as we are. And they don't have a much bigger death rate through starvation than we do. # CA: Yes. # AB: They probably have a lower death rate through obesity and so on.
# NO: But you cannot support the population that we have today. [The earth] wouldn't support a world of Amish. We have already used up a bunch of land for concrete and buildings and urban cities. [z9a4] ***
[AB: That's an important issue that any rethink needs to address. ]
# AB: Hang on, NO: You're in the USA. We outside of the USA look at the USA and say "The USA standard of living is not the one that we should be following. We shouldn't bring everyone to the USA standard of living." Because we look at all the obesity in the USA and the waste and all the - and so on. [z9a5]
# But what you (NO) say is true; there is something valid in that. We cannot just all wear hair shirts. That's somethihg that / We in Britain, we're / if any / if you have a whiff of saying "Cut down things", then immediately the critics say "o you want us all to wear hair shirts!" Do you know that phrase in the USA? # NO: Yes. # AB: It just kills the discussion. [z9a6]
# NO: I'm not disagreeing with CA at all. Because these things are ridiculous, it is a ridiculous cycle. It is something that happens. We've got in South Dallas an area that's a certain ethnographic peoples that live down there and we have the highest rates of COPD, lung disease, because unfortunately these people eat terribly.
# NO: You think we should be able to fix that problem; people are trying to, so what you say CA is correct. The problem is I don't know how you take it to an extreme. If you said "We'll just not do that, by edict" I think you'll lose [what we have gained over the centuries].
[AB: The argument above got into an all-or-nothing conflict ("extreme"). But then towards the end, we got away from that. But the danger of avoiding all-or-nothing is that we deteriorate into mere meaningless compromises agreed among articulate elites or subjective opinions. Suggestion: But we need neither antagonism nor acquiescence to it, but a proper critique based on all aspects of reality. We need a systematic way of thinking about the realities so that we fall into neither danger. Throughout these discussions, we have begun to discuss Dooyeweerd's aspects on this: aspects of the economy and of HLE (healthy living environment). ]
# NB: I think the reason CA cannot find green beans without added salt, sugar and oil is because there's not a market for it. [laughter] So if we are going to have a market economy rather than a planned economy, then what's available depends on people's choices. And so people choosing to eat well, that's just a plain unsolvable problem in a market economy - but I do still think that a market economy is still better than a planned economy. [z9a7]
# NO: I think you're right. For me it goes back to having a good governmental social policy. So that if people want McDonalds to sell French Fries, and it has a health impact then you have to pay a higher tax. It's like if you sell cigarettes, you have to pay for that.
# AB: We won't solve the problem today.
[AB: Mark Carney commented on the move from a market economy to a market society. If I understand him aright, that means that a mindset prevails in which we see most of life and reality as though it were merely a market: an idolatry of the economic aspect, and indeed a distorted view of the economic aspect at that. ] [z9a8]
[AB: I am aware that many Christians would think a planned economy is better than a market economy. In this group the idea of planned economy has not been sufficiently represented. It is something that needs discussion if we are to build a truly helpful rethink. We want to understand properly, immanently, humbly, sensitively the validity of both market economy and planned economy. Maybe an attempt to understand the economic aspect of reality, in a Dooyeweerdian sense, and amidst all other aspects might help. Question to ponder: From which aspects do the ideas of market economy and planned economy emerge? e.g. market economy expresses something fundamental in the economic aspect, while planned economy expresses the fundamental idea that economy activity should be governed by the norms of other aspects not just its own (c.f. Schuurman's similar idea about technology)? If from different aspects, then the conflict cannot be resolved without recognising what Dooyeweerd called the "coherence of meaning" that furnishes the framework within which the Creation operates - and which was at the centre of Schuurman's thesis. ] [z9a9]
# AB: But it does point out, I think, the question, "What is good?"
# We need to rethink that.
# NB: In a market economy, good is "what people want". And what people want is not always good. They want salt on their fries! (# AB: I like salt on my fries; I come from Cheshire, which is a salt producer. And on fish and chips. ... [laughter] But I do realise that I'm very fortunate to have salt ...)
# AB: Move us on.
# AB: Christian Values. We did not much discuss Joy, except along with faith, and we discussed Justice twice.
# AB: But I don't think it matters, because what I was looking at was how we benefited from how we benefited from discussing Christian values, and I found three things.
# It's contributed those three things, those three benefits.
# What do you think?
# NB: I experienced all those methods myself.
# NO: [fourth benefit]
# NO: I think CA had a great list for us to talk about.
# AB: Yeah, Because what we did, having to tackle this, we actually ranged [widely] over all sorts of things, which then went into other sections. [c.f. CA "everything and anything"] NB: That might have more to do with our personalities than the list! [laughter] I think we range! # NO: Said positively: we have active minds. # NB: Yeah, I meant that very positively; that's a compliment. Inquisitive, curious.
# AB: So, the question is: Where do we take this now? What to do next?
# AB: NO suggested in an email to write a book or something. [z9b2]
# NB: Is there a conference on Christian economics, where a panel discussion would be fruitful. Sort of taking the model we've had, of these fairly wide-ranging discussions, but grounded around this concept of a Dooyeweerdian approach to fixing some obvious problems, and have that discussion in a larger group of people who are familiar with some of the things we may not be? [z9b3]
# CA: I think we can frame it in a framework.
# If not, it's going to be another set of discussion, isn't it.
# NO: Seems like, what we've started here is to pull it into a thesis statement? Do we need to come up with somewhat of a thesis statement, with a couple of ??subsets, or something like that? [z9b4]
# CA: It's more breadth at the moment than depth. So we need depth. [z9b5] *** [C.f. below]
# NB: From a little observation that the current market metcics miss things that matter (there's alliteration there!) is fairly widely agreed upon and not revolutionary, but our observation that an aspectual approach to thinking about things can be fruitful, is probably where our contribution is going to be. [z9b6] ***
# That an aspectual approach to fixing the problems with [about] market metrics. With metrics in economics - how to measure things that currently aren't being measured can be approached from [with] an aspectual lens. [z9b7] ***
# AB: That's what RG is looking at. But especially in terms of things that are not measurable - that have value but are non-measurable.
# And we quizzed him early on.
# AB: So, what shall we do?
# NO: Part of that is the fact that we're suggesting that this is is approached by that Christian perspective. Because that helps elevate us out of the pure monetary transaction view of things.
[See also suggestion below of writing critique of Mark Carney.
[Also there is a suggestion of a critique of the Dasgupta Review ]
# AB: Does Christian perspective do it, or does a Dooyeweerdian perspective do it? What contribution does each take? I want to keep those two [Christian, Dooyeweerdian perspectives] conceptually separate [though related]. [z9b8]
# NB: I think a Dooyeweerdian approach enables us to be systematic in recognising the radical implications of the Christian approach. [z9b9] ***
# [Example] If the Christian approach calls us to be self-sacrificing, Dooyeweerd's aspects give us a way to think about that carefully without overlooking things and just making it all kind of - you know - rosy-posy [snip]. To be self-sacrificing is difficult and requires some careful thinking.
# NO: I like that.
# NO: Has anybody taken those Dooyeweerd aspects and /
# I think AB on your website, where there's a variety of different scriptures that underlies [Dooyeweerd's aspects]? # AB: Not sure. I've got Scripture on why we should engage, but I think I've avoided linking Scriptures with Dooyeweerd's aspects. But I think someone has done that somewhere. # NO: That would be interesting to me. I was thinking about trawling through that myself. Obviously there was many different verses you could append, but there could be few that are helpful at this stage. [z9c0]
# AB: The line I've always taken is that you can find anything you like in Scripture, even the quote "There is no god" (after "The fool says in his heart"). You can find all of Dooyeweerd's aspects in Scripture - but, so what? That's just filling slots. I have always tried to maintain that Dooyeweerd's aspects, while extremely useful, are not Scripture, are not absolute Truth.
# NB: Even Dooyeweerd was quite clear that the concept of aspectuality was more important to him than this particular list of aspects.
# NO: Must leave soon.
# NO: Found the discussions incredibly enriching. Modulating some of my own thinking.
# TB: ???
# AB: NO, Would you like to present something on how it helped you?
# NO: Yes, I think that's great. If I can have a couple of weeks here - a fortnight! [in-joke!] - I'll try to draft something. If you guys will consider it only a draft. My own flawed thoughts on it. But I'll try to do something on it, yeah. Think that would be good for me. [z9c1] [Suggestion]
# AB: CA, I'd be interested to know how it helped you. # CA: Yeah. # AB: Do you feel these discussions have actually helped you or have you just been contributing?
# CA: I think that one way we can actually look at this is:
[The following was actually said later]
# AB: TB? Given that we have to go, how have you found all this, from your point of view, from CAN's [Christian Academic Network] point of view, or whatever?
# TB: Very useful.
# In terms of learning more about aspectual things.
# And how we quantify things, and the meaning of things, defining of things. [z9c2]
# Seeing that more ways than what we've seen before. Like I suppose we've been looking at what is information, and other areas.
# And then, from the economic side of things, it's been some very useful things there - defining value, understanding value. Quantifying it if we can. [z9c3]
# And Time: very interesting as well. What is a useful one. [z9c4]
# From a trans-disciplinary perspective. I really liked those bits.
[Another possible future activity / project]
# We keep saying: Mark Carney actually dodged a lot of point. He didn't address a lot of things, because he either did not have the answers to them or he didn't want to talk about them. We don't know what. So that is quite a good angle. It could be more like a critique paper on that whole thing he was talking about. [z9c5]
# NO: I like that.
# [Discussion on MC continues below]
# CA: Because now we have a point of reference to talk about. Before this, we don't have a point of reference. We were talking about everything and anything, that comes to our heads and affects our lives.
# CA: [laughter] Like I was talking about the salt and everything else. That really affected my life and I want to bring that up.
# [actually said below] AB: "Point of reference" - similar to what you said about framework at the beginning, CA?
# NB: Because Dooyeweerd is so good at helping us think through things that affect our lives. [z9c6] ***
# AB: NO you better go because we're keeping you. # NO: Thank you guys. Mark this "To be continued."
# NB: I will also need to go in five minutes.
# AB: Would you, CA, (though busy) - when you say MC dodged a lot of things, lot of points, maybe because he didn't have the answers / [z9c7]
# NB: Or maybe because he [Mark Carney] doesn't recognise the question is legitimate. He might not even recognise what the question really is - that with a different framework he might see new questions. [z9c8]
# AB: Good point.
# But I was wondering if CA would be in a position in future to actually present some ideas on that, on how we might [Suggested future project:] supply what MC is missing. Or however you want to put it. [z9c9]
# CA: I think we all have talked about a lot of things. And some of those things are falling into that category. Is just about digging it up and putting in to perspective. [z9d0]
# AB: I think I can do things like - NO and I had just put up something about Mariana Mazzucato, a critique of her stuff. And it's actually contributed somewhat to that. So I could continue that.
[Here was where TB expresssed what he valued in our discussions]
# CA: So, CA, do you think we have a contribution to make to something in the field of economics?
# CA: [a summary of what we have done over the 6 months, then suggestions for future]
# I think that at the beginning, when started all of this, we were saying, "Let's go and watch that Mark Carney and his conversations" - four series of it. And we actually watched it and we all said something about it.
# So now is to go back and check all those videos, to see what we have said. And some of the things is going to feed into the parts where he didn't go into depth. And so that would be the critique [which we can make]. [z9d1]
# And this conversation came about because of values and everything. It's because the thread was coming from there [M Carney].
# So then we said then, "How do we quantify values?" and then we started to move from there.
# And so actually there's a lot of things we can actually do.
# AB: At the back of my mind is that we've all enjoyed it - but is that because we know nothing about economics, as it were? [Is it that] we're only dabbling in it and there's not really a contribution? Or is there something of a contribution, potentially? [z9d2]
# CA: I think what has happened is, we have gone like overview. But if we are to look at something in specific, we can do that as well. The overview has given us some perspective. [z9d3]
# Like "How is this idea of a paper for value, Christian values, came about?"
# [What we did] It's all this dabbling and all of this that's been going on. So we've been talking about all of this. Then we came up with this idea of Christian values and the economy. It has [they have] to merge at some point and we need to think from this perspective. And we have talked a lot about this. [z9d4]
# So what is the thing that is missing now? It's like a framework. [z9d5]
# Like how do we put it within a partcular framework. And not go beyond - because research is all about putting it in a compartment and just talking about the compartment and not going beyond that. So now the question is, "What is the compartment?"
# And I don't think we have a problem there, because once we feed around the compartment, then it's going to be easier for us to talk more about it, get it and write it up.
[AB: Is her "compartment" same as a paradigm? Does this mean that we have introduced a new paradigm into economics, or that we are on the verge of doing so? ]
# NB: Our role - if this comes to publishing a paper - our role would certainly be that of sort of an outside challenger, or a provocateur - that by not being economists - # CA: Yes. # NB: [By not being economists] we might be able to see the holes in the way economists discuss things better than they can.
# And they might read a paper and perhaps smile patronisingly and say "Yes, clearly these people don't understand economics." But then they'll have to come back and defend their point. And it'll start a conversation that might be useful if we are in fact missing important points. [z9d6] ***
# CA: This is a critique piece. So, I can criticise you and you can criticise me; it's fine.
# CA: We can evn do a critique piece on the Dasgupta Review.
[AB: See partial critique thereof in The Economics of Biodiversity: Summaries of, and Comments on, The Dasgupta Review. ]
# CA: And I think that we have talked a lot already. We can actually put things in perspective. And we say "Oh, we've already already identified context, but then again we need to talk more about this" - that's not a problem for us, because we have talked beyond already. [z9d7]
# AB: Right. That's very helpful; thank you. My clock says 17:29. Don't know what youu's is, NB. # NB: 11:30.
# AB: Thank you very much.
# In 3 weeks time, we'll have NO presenting something. And we'll have this idea of external critique piece, framework. Try and mould it into a framework.
# NB: That's exciting. Sounds a lot of work!
# NB: There is not necessarily a huge urgency to spend hours and hours in the next three weeks. This discussion can continue over the coming months, as we work on a paper.
# AB: We'll possibly go to monthly rather than three-weekly. But we'll see how it goes.
# NB: Closed in prayer. Thanks for chance to gather and have stimulating discussion. For God's hand on our challenges, critiques and deliberations, that we can participate in some small way in making Your world more how you would have it be. Thank You for the joy this brings us.
[AB and CA stayed on and discussed the following. It helps to clarify some of the things discussed above.]
# CA thinking a few things:
# You know, like we talked about a lot of things.
# But now I'm thinking that maybe I should go and look at some economic frameworks so that we can talk within that framework. [Suggestion]
# This is what I was thinking about in my bank soundness and Dooyeweerd's aspects paper, I was asking myself, what is the context we are talking about? We can be talking about everything and anything. then I realised that my thesis was just on the global financial crsis. So we could talk within that global financial crisis that happened framework. So something like that. So everything you are going to fall into that framework.
# At least you have something substantial. [z9d8] [c.f. "need depth" above]
# AB: Are you suggesting you could re-look at something in your thesis in the light of what we've come up with in these discussions? Or is it the other way round?
# CA: No. First I was thinking about the [bank soundness] paper, which has been on hold. I was thinking: "What is the scope of this discussion?" How can we go about this discussion? I was just looking at that paper, and all the emails on it [between CA, SJ, AB about how to apply Dooyeweerd's aspects to understand bank soundness]. [z9d9]
# Then I was thinkking, maybe I need some scope, instead of bringing all sorts of things inside. And then I realised that the scope is the global financial crisis. So, that would be for the bank soundness and Dooyeweerd's aspects that we were talking about - the one [paper] we were supposed to be doing.
# So then I was trying to put my head around that. Then I was also thinking about this, I was thinking we were talking all sorts of things in here: "Where is the framework? What is the framework that we have to work around?" This was my first question.
# Then I realised we came into this topic - you know, we talked out way through to this topic about Christian values and economics - bringing these two together. We talked our way through.
# So, if fact, we can talk about MC and the discourse that he had. And the gap in that. And then bring it like that, all the way to Christian values. We can do that, can we not?
# Because that is the gap. # AB: You mean the gap between economics and Christian values? [AB: I think now maybe CA meant the gap in MC's approach, and that AB misunderstood.] # CA: Yes, because all these problems are happening, because we started to ask, "Why do we have so many problems?" Then we found out there are so many problems. How do we solve this problem? [z9e0]
# [So we explored the possibility that] We can solve this problem by looking at Christian values.
# Then we also found that not everything can be solved by Christian values. Like, what NO was telling us just now: he said "We also need McDonalds. We need KfC. Because they are contributing to the NHS [taxes] as well. But one thing is, we have to increase their taxes."
# But it's still not going to solve the problem. Because it's still going round in circles. So this is what I'm trying to say.
# AB: I'll have to mull over what you've said.
# AB:. What I find is that my immediate interpretation or reaction to some of these things is one thing. But when I go and listen to the recording and think anout and and try and think myself into the mindset or the mindframe of the person who is speaking, then I come up with other understanding. Which is sometimes why I prefer to listen and take notes rather than contribute too much.
# AB: I think you've probably covered several things there: bank soundness and Dooyeweerd paper, and then talk about the need for a framework.
# AB: What do you conceive of as a framework? What do you mean by a framework? Give me an example of framework?
# CA: Like, we can build our own framework. We talk about so many things.
# Like for example, a framework of values. Then we can say, although we have a framework of values here, all of these points can come into a framework of values, but this framework is still lacking in something. So, what it's lacking in? [z9e1]
# Based on all the things we talked about.
# So I was thinking: maybe I should go through all nine discussions we have. And put into a context, a framework.
# For example, if I had boxes, circles, etc. then all the boxes are points that is ???. So, once I look into that, I could say "OK this is what we have talked so far; these are the bubbles that we have." It looks like we have a gap here, a gap there, and so on. So that will all the limitation of the study. And then whatever we have is what we have already built on.
# AB: That's what I tried to do in bringing the points together [in the file Rethinking the Economy, with the help of a Christian Perspective] to see where the gaps are. But I'm not sure I did it in a particularly economically literate way.
# CA: Because we can use the thematic analysis to do this. It everybody is saying the same things in different words and languages and whatever, and then we just put that in the same theme - that might work. [z9e2]
# AB: It'll be a lot of work - thematic analysis! I think possibly - it might work, but I think a lot of what was said was said, not exactly in the heat of the moment, but what I found was that people would say things and they'd be thinking out loud as they were saying it, so the words they said wasn't - if we took a thematic or content analysis about it, we might get misled. But, maybe we need to do that work. But it wasn't interviews, was it. Anyway, nevermind about thematic analysis:
# The idea of boxes and circles, and you seeing patterns [sounds good].
# What I've got is 8 files, and the last four or five are near-transcripts of what was said. Near-complete, actual transcripts of what was said. The first two or three are more note form and so on.
# However, I think all the audio recordings are available. They are on the storage on my phone. And I could upload them if you're interested in listening to the recordings.
# CA: I have this problem: sometimes I don't understand what people are trying to say. For example, XX says very useful things but I find myself trying to understand what he's trying to say. Like, put what he's trying to say in context for me to understand it. So this is where I miss out because I cannot comprehend it.
# AB: Well, I think actually that's quite a common experience, and I suspect it's because each of us has come from different background. Possibly different aspects are important to us. Not only different sets of concepts but different views of what are the meaningful issues that we need to tackle, if you like, the meaningful problems.
# In the early days, when you were trying to teach me things or I was asking you things, I could hear and understand the words you said, and I could even make a diagram of them, but I didn't really 'get' what you were talking about. Because I haven't come from economics or finance, and so I'm not aware in my intuition of what the big issues are, what the problems are, what the challenges are.
# Now I've got a much better idea.
# And I think that's possibly the thing about XX as well, because he comes from a different background.
# So maybe that's the reason.
# CA: I don't mind going through it. But if I get stuck in what people are trying to say, then what should I do? Should I ask them? Like "Can you remember what you said over here" or what?
# AB: Yes you can do that. But let's step back a bit. Would that be a good use of your time, to go through in this level of detail. Or, would it be a better idea to start with - try to build a framework together?
# CA Yes, but to try to build a framework you need to see what people have said.
# AB: But do you need the detail? So, for example, could you use the stuff that I've done, or is it that - I know that there are some things I've missed.
# In the actual transcripts I won't have missed them, but I will have put headings in and sometimes missed - you know, you might have put different headings or so on.
# AB: What you could do is look through some of the later transcripts and see what you can make of them, and see if you can bring out anything that's different from what I've brought out.
# CA: M-m
# AB: But I'm very aware that you're a lot busier than I am.
Schuurman E. 1980. Technology and the Future. Wedge Publishing.
Compiled by Andrew Basden: 9 July 2021. Last updated: