bringing up boys

Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) and Maude Dowley/Lewis (Sally Hawkins) in Maudie

Men are in need of improvement. This opinion is surely shared by all women. How many times have I heard female friends speak – only half in jest – of their boyfriends, partners and husbands as if they were pets to be trained, or as another ‘child’ in the house, or as projects? Inherent in this approach is the idea that the man is currently not meeting (her) expectations. And how many times have I heard that the girlfriend/partner/wife is the best thing that’s happened to him, that she straightened him out, that she tamed and domesticated him? And how many times more have I myself wished for certain underdeveloped, socially inept men to find a partner who would teach him and improve him so that I no longer had to interact with a Neanderthal?Read More »

switching to english

My doorbell rang. There stood my former flatmate. “Where’s my money?” she demanded.

She came into my building and screamed at me for a good long while. I couldn’t breathe. I stepped outside for fresh air. It was raining. She followed. She screamed at me some more. In the rain. Even in the complete abject shittiness of the moment I appreciated the poetry.Read More »

relationships and choice

I’d always believed that relationships impose a constraint on an individual’s independence and freedom, as decisions would include the preferences of two people instead of one. The optimum for aggregated preferences would be further from an optimum based only on your own constraints.

But then there’s the paradox of choice – in a nutshell, that counter to mainstream econ beliefs, more choice isn’t always better. In fact, more choice could be costly. Which means that limiting choice by way of internalising (or, at least, accounting for) another individual’s preferences could actually be a good thing, because it’s less of a headache to make decisions, as certain options are immediately ruled out.

In sum, compromise in a world of imperfect information and finite cognitive capacity with which to optimise situaitons is… utility maximising/increasing?!