Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The use of knowledge in society

In my opinion this article seems to have been written very awkwardly. For example in the author's analysis he seems to have forgotten or maybe left out a a whole faction of how I think economic decisions are made. Referring to paragraph 19, the author states that, "it does not matter for him (the decision maker) why at the particular moment more screws are of one size than the other, why paper bags are more readily available than canvas bags....or why skilled labor ...have for the moment become more difficult to obtain. All that is significant for him is how much more or less difficult to procure they have become compared to other things..." The author also mentions that the causes for why these items are not available are not important to the decision maker. I think this is very fastidious thinking on the authors part. How often do we make decisions solely based on mathematical formulas? An example of this can be seen when an individual perhaps pays a dollar more to buy an "eco friendly" tote or free trade coffee and has to go out of their way to find a store that sells these items. This individual is obviously concerned about the reason behind the cost of the item he/she is purchasing. However, it is important to note that not all individuals would make the same economic decision; someone else may not be willing to pay extra for free trade coffee, or a third individual may be willing to pay extra but he/she may not be willing to go the extra mile to find a coffee shop that sells free trade coffee. Therefore, I feel like the author was generalizing when discussing how he thought these decisions were made.