Sunday, December 30, 2007

Constant Value in a Changing World (1)


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am trying to make the case for a “general theory of value” that would be viable for all times and all places. Without in any way suggesting the existence of a mathematical formula, I have used the following three components to conceptualize such a model:

Moving frame + Uniformity/Nonuniformity + Constant value = General Theory of Value
(? + 0/1 + c = cValue)

The model can be summarized as follows:

The first component: The model is based upon the lowest common denominator, that is, the "moto" of a “moving frame of reference” rather than the "modo" of time as in “just now.” The moving frame creates a level playing field where nothing and no one has a special preference. The situation is as if a merry-go-round is spinning fast enough for centrifugal force to overcome the usual forces of gravity and bring everyone to his or her knees. (For anyone who believes in the power of prayer, being brought to one’s knees is more than a metaphor.) I have borrowed the familiar “?” from grammar and computer jargon as an icon to represent the idea of a moving, changing frame of reference. The icon identifies human existence with mystery and uncertainty. Standing alone, it looks a lot like chaos and disorder. As N. Katherine Hayles says in Chaos Bound, it is “ungrounded and indeterminate,” a “context of no context” and a “history of no history” (Hayles 268, 272, 281).

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