Trying Yet Again to Get a Proper Frame for Tomorrow's Uncharted "Robots" Conversation...
Duncan Black: Good Luck With That: Noted

And Dan Davies Falls into the David Graeber Zone!!

Dan Davies (dsquareddigest) on Twitter:

@davidgraeber it is not like your other "my article must have been valid because it was widely forwarded on the internet" line was better.

@davidgraeber alternatively, could I go to a party and ask people "anthropologists don't really use cocktail chat as data do they?"

I mean "what's that Dave, oh yes, totally agree, all these jobs are just bullshit, I think my wife wants me to go over there now, see you!"

@BlandDexter @davidgraeber in the name of pity, please tell me this isn't a normal data gathering standard, even in jest, in anthropology

@DaniChicarito I met this guy once who said that

I also think that the simple fact it is possible to sidle away from bores at parties means that Graeber's sample may be skewed.

I don't think that this is normal. It isn't, is it?

2) ... the inference from cocktail party talk to social/anthropological validity is itself valid because his article went viral on the net

1) ... his thesis about "bullshit jobs" is valid, because people he talks to at parties agree with it (I have not yet accepted this datum)

so the state of play in my discussion with the LSE's professor of anthropology is ...

@davidgraeber yr question was "if my article wasn't valid, how come it was popular?" I was being kind, letting you pretend it was rhetorical

.@davidgraeber "a positivist, how cute?" Are you pretending there's a school of thought in anthropology for which cocktail talk is evidence?

@davidgraeber @pitakakariki mate, don't start using words like "hypothesis" until you know how to operate one

@dsquareddigest @emilybell The bit I always enjoy most is getting out the Father Habermas outfit with the floppy white wig and the big specs

@Ed_Crooks @emilybell I got a set of Gramsci's Prison Diaries, as a sort of combined Habermas and Hamas present.

@emilybell @Ed_Crooks @FT @johnpmcdermott @rustyrockets Habermas seems to come earlier every year.

.@davidgraeber @pitakakariki seriously, that's your standard of evidence? You're a professor of anthropology ffs.

@dsquareddigest @pitakakariki no one has yet written back saying "I'm an HR consultant/corp lawyer/etc and my job is really important"

@davidgraeber @pitakakariki if a Madagascan told you it was a Christian country with no taboos, would you just write that down as a fact?

@davidgraeber @pitakakariki what, you're now generalising from unanalysed cocktail party chatter? is this how you do anthropology?

@davidgraeber @pitakakariki (given that people can self-select out of this sample by sidling away from you, it may be unrepresentative)

@davidgraeber @pitakakariki your sample for making that judgement apparently being composed of people at cocktail parties.

@leighblue @davidgraeber it's particularly stupid for an anthropologist to pretend that jobs managing communication and status are bullshit

@davidgraeber @pitakakariki in this case it isn't a cheap shot. It's simply that you're wrong about these jobs being "bullshit".

@GapingSilence ie he wrote a whole book about social practices and networks of indebtedness, & didn't notice commercial law fills this role

@GapingSilence thing is, Graeber's paradigm case of a "bullshit job" is a corporate lawyer; ie someone who untangles implicit obligations

.@davidgraeber the anthropology professor wants to write a book about other people having "bullshit jobs". Sounds legit.

@M_C_Klein I always think of the "it's a bubble" crowd as looking like this …

"central bank driven bond bubble" is so much more exciting a thing to say than "low interest rate policy", isn't it?