Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

January 3, 2019
by sarcozona
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One obvious problem [of patents] is that patents, by definition, create monopolies, which impose costs on the rest of society. For example, the patentee could use its technological monopoly to exploit the consumers… But it is not just the problem of income distribution between the patentee and the consumers. Monopoly also creates net social loss by allowing the producer to maximize its profit by producing at a less than socially desirable quantity… Also, because it is a ‘winner takes all’ system, critics point out, the patent system often results in the duplication of research among competitors – this may be wasteful from the social point of view.

Source: Bad samaritans : the myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism (Book, 2008) [WorldCat.org]

December 22, 2018
by sarcozona
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Doing state-owned enterprises right

Enterprises in industries that are natural monopolies, industries that involve large investment and high risk and enterprises that provide essential services should be kept as SOEs [state-owned enterprises], unless the government has very high tax-raising and/or regulatory capabilities. … Privatizing … Continue reading

March 8, 2018
by sarcozona
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I’ll wear the slinky dress and give up my art if you’ll invest in migraine research

In general, online communities embrace the biomedicalization of migraine, perhaps even more than their  doctors do, in the service of legitimating migraine as a socially sanctioned disease — since they extend the  neurobiological paradigm beyond what biomedical evidence currently supports. … Continue reading

March 2, 2018
by sarcozona
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Pain obliterates identity, but the loss of identity in chronic illness isn’t simply a function of pain. It is also a result of constant gaslighting about the experience of your own body. Pain is a mysterious and terrifying force. It makes sense that pain destroys us. Being told by a loved one that you are faking because you’re lazy doesn’t. That does more invidious, insidious damage.

[P]eople who experience subjective symptoms that cannot be objectively confirmed by biomedicine often have their experience contested by medical professionals, employers, friends, and family. They experience a kind of “double disruption” in their lives. Not only does chronic illness disrupt their taken-for-granted world, but the skepticism that so often accompanies these illnesses can lead to a breakdown of the normal experience of self, leaving them feeling marginalized and alone. Since women are systematically less likely to be believed when they complain about pain, this experience is highly gendered. As sociologist Kristin Barker argues, when the world refuses to acknowledge and validate suffering, people can start to question their own sanity. Which is to say, persistent delegitimation—the experience of living among relentless doubt— can break down one’s voice, one’s sense of self, one’s very identity.

Joanna Kempner in Not Tonight