Social Strata


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social strata Notes on the Economics of Game Theory

Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites

Consider this :
Could Western management techniques be successfully implemented in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) ? Granted, they have to be adapted, modified and cannot be imported in their entirety. But their crux, their inalienable nucleus can this be transported and transplanted in CEE ? Theory provides us with a positive answer. Human agents are the same everywhere and are mostly rational. Practice begs to differ. Basic concepts such as the money value of time or the moral and legal meaning of property are non existent. The legal, political and economic environments are all unpredictable. As a result, economic players will prefer to maximize their utility immediately (steal from the workplace, for instance) than to wait for longer term (potentially, larger) benefits. Warrants (stock options) convertible to the companys shares constitute a strong workplace incentive in the West (because there is an horizon and they increase the employees welfare in the long term). Where the future is speculation speculation withers. Stock options or a small stake in his firm, will only encourage the employee to blackmail the other shareholders by paralysing the firm, to abuse his new position and will be interpreted as immunity, conferred from above, from the consequences of illegal activities. The very allocation of options or shares will be interpreted as a sign of weakness, dependence and need, to be exploited. Hierarchy is equated with slavery and employees will rather harm their long term interests than follow instructions or be subjected to criticism never mind how constructive. The employees in CEE regard the corporate environment as a conflict zone, a zero sum game (in which the gains by some equal the losses to others). In the West, the employees participate in the increase in the firms value. The difference between these attitudes is irreconcilable.

Now, let us consider this :

An entrepreneur is a person who is gifted at identifying the unsatisfied needs of a market, at mobilizing and organizing the resources required to satisfy those needs and at defining a long-term strategy of development and marketing. As the enterprise grows, two processes combine to denude the entrepreneur of some of his initial functions. The firm has ever growing needs for capital : financial, human, assets and so on. Additionally, the company begins (or should begin) to interface and interact with older, better established firms. Thus, the company is forced to create its first management team : a general manager with the right doses of respectability, connections and skills, a chief financial officer, a host of consultants and so on. In theory if all our properly motivated financially all these players (entrepreneurs and managers) will seek to maximize the value of the firm. What happens, in reality, is that both work to minimize it, each for its own reasons. The managers seek to maximize their short-term utility by securing enormous pay packages and other forms of company-dilapidating compensation. The entrepreneurs feel that they are strangled, shackled, held back by bureaucracy and they rebel. They oust the management, or undermine it, turning it into an ineffective representative relic. They assume real, though informal, control of the firm. They do so by defining a new set of strategic goals for the firm, which call for the institution of an entrepreneurial rather than a bureaucratic type of management. These cycles of initiative-consolidation-new initiative-revolution-consolidation are the dynamos of company growth. Growth leads to maximization of value. However, the players dont know or do not fully believe that they are in the process of maximizing the company's worth. On the contrary, consciously, the managers say : lets maximize the benefits that we derive from this company, as long as we are still here. The entrepreneurs-owners say : we cannot tolerate this stifling bureaucracy any longer. We prefer to have a smaller company but all ours. The growth cycles forces the entrepreneurs to dilute their holdings (in order to raise the capital necessary to finance their initiatives). This dilution (the fracturing of the ownership structure) is what brings the last cycle to its end. The holdings of the entrepreneurs ... more

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Great Expectations- Character Analysis
Estella Havisham:
Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip's coarse hands and thick boots. However, her beauty soon captivates Pip and she is instilled as the focal point of his thoughts for much of the remainder of the novel. The fact that Pip becomes infatuated with her is also not Estella's fault. By no means is there any evidence that she loved him. She does not flirt with him in any way. Rather, she tortures Pip with her cruel treatment. Despite her abhorrent quality, Estella is extremely candid; because she seems to have no need for affection, she is able to tell things as she sees them without a thought of what someone else may think. This is in contrast to Pip's obsession of his every action being approved by Miss Havisham and Estella. Estella is also quite intelligent. She is very aware of the manner in which Miss Havisham raised her. She tells Miss Havisham, "I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me." (Chapter 38). Finally, by the end of the novel, Estella has changed. Through her marriage with Bentley Drummle, she has suffered to learn some valuable life lessons that have transformed her character. Pip remarks on the stark reversal of the once hard Estella, "...what I had never seen before, was the saddened softened light of the once proud eyes; what I had never felt before, was the friendly touch of the once insensible hand." (Chapter 59).
Joe Gargery:
Joe is the only one of Dickens' characters who stands opposed to and apart from the main current of action. He stays away from London, for the most part, and only intervenes when needed. He is always present in Pip's mind, and tends to remind both Pip and the reader of those values in Pip that were crushed during the evolution of his expectations. Joe is an honest and industrious fellow, although he sometimes comes across as foolish to other characters in the novel. He is also a generous and forgiving man, which is illustrated by his reaction to having some food taken from his house by the convict. Joe tells the convict that he was welcome to it, since it kept the convict from starving. Joe is also the only character in the novel with no real property. All that he counts as his own are his tools; all else, in Joe's mind, belongs to Mrs. Joe. His freedom from material goods and the desire for them sets him apart from the "gentlemen" like Pumblechook in the novel. Joe was a child of an abusive family; his father was a drunkard and beat Joe and his mother. The epitaph that Joe composes for his father reveals the extent of his forgiving nature. The same epitaph, "Whatsum-er the failings on his part, Remember, reader, he were that good in his hart," applies to Pip, as well, as he finishes his adventures. Joe is far more significant than the virtuous and kindly blacksmith he appears to be. Dickens refers to him as "holy", and the cottage has an air of "sanctity" for Pip. Joe is opposed to all false values, and does not present his view in bombastic speeches, but rather within himself and in his convictions. Joe also rejects the importance of property, pretty speech, and manners. Joe is also a very honorable and dignified man, which is sensed immediately by Miss Havisham. His understanding of peopleand his sensitivity allows him to sense intuitively whether he is wanted by Pip or is merely making him uncomfortable. The fire of Joe's forge is the light of the innate goodness of man, and a light of hope amidst the false lights of the world that Dickens ... more

social strata

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  • S: Great Expectations- Character Analysis S: Great Expectations- Character Analysis Great Expectations- Character Analysis Estella Havisham: Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip\'s coarse hands and thick boots. H...
  • O: Notes on the Economics of Game Theory O: Notes on the Economics of Game Theory Notes on the Economics of Game Theory Sam Vaknin\'s Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites Consider this : Could Western management techniques be successfully implemented in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) ? Granted, they have to be adapted, modified and cannot be imported in their entirety. But their crux, their inalienable nucleus can this be transported and transplanted in CEE ? Theory provides us with a positive answer. Human agents are the same e...
  • C: Great Expectations- Character Analysis C: Great Expectations- Character Analysis Great Expectations- Character Analysis Estella Havisham: Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip\'s coarse hands and thick boots. H...
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  •  : Great Expectations- Character Analysis : Great Expectations- Character Analysis Great Expectations- Character Analysis Estella Havisham: Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip\'s coarse hands and thick boots. H...
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  • T: Notes on the Economics of Game Theory T: Notes on the Economics of Game Theory Notes on the Economics of Game Theory Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web SitesConsider this : Could Western management techniques be successfully implemented in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) ? Granted, they have to be adapted, modified and cannot be imported in their entirety. But their crux, their inalienable nucleus can this be transported and transplanted in CEE ? Theory provides us with a positive answer. Human agents are the same e...
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