Friday, April 11, 2008

The Face of a Prophet

In today's NYTimes;
“I consider this the biggest financial crisis of my lifetime,” Mr. Soros said during an interview Monday in his office overlooking Central Park. A “superbubble” that has been swelling for a quarter of a century is finally bursting, he said[...]The market theory he has promoted for two decades and espoused most of his life — something he calls “reflexivity” — is still dismissed by many economists. The idea is that people’s biases and actions can affect the direction of the underlying economy, undermining the conventional theory that markets tend toward some sort of equilibrium.

Mr. Soros said all aspects of his life — finance, philanthropy, even politics — are driven by reflexivity, which has to do with the feedback loop between people’s understanding of reality and their own actions. Society as a whole could learn from his theory, he said. “To make a contribution to our understanding of reality would be my greatest accomplishment,” he said.
Soros is correct. "Reality" mirrors the contents of the collective unconscious. To change the former requires autonomous access to and some degree of control over the latter. Human beings have engendered a number of such cultures of psychological competence. The currently dominant dopamine hegemony is not such a culture. Instead, it is a culture in which the tendency toward unconscious behaviour is maximized and ruthlessly and habitually exploited. That's why it works. That's why it's universal, and that's why it will be our undoing.