Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Terminology and Semantics Vs Use and Meaning

I know we haven't posted much on art or painting recently and for the dedicated in need of this sustenance I apologise. However following recent conversations and challenges I have become acutely aware of the wider perceptions of abstraction and as a consequence I have noticed adoptions of the word 'abstract' and its derivations or associations with the vocabulary of abstraction. Usage of the word is informed by understanding and this affects how abstraction is consequently perceived and in sequence this defines the concrete.

"This is a familiar line, especially from libertarian economists like Dan Griswold of the Cato Institute, who referred to the trade deficit as an "accounting abstraction" in his recent book defending free trade.
For a start, this is a silly way to characterize anything with a dollar sign in front of it, simply because all numbers in economics are, in some sense, accounting abstractions. Numbers are an abstract measure of things in the real world, including wealth, and the trade deficit is no different. By that standard, being a millionaire is an "accounting abstraction." So is being insolvent. A number on a ledger is not a loaf of bread, a car, or a bar of gold."
The author ends his article "But, of course, as America learned in the recent financial crisis, you can't cheat reality forever. There is no free lunch (one of the few points on which I agree with Milton Friedman), and yes, trade deficits are real money. And I'm happy to bet 1,000 units of accounting abstraction with anyone who believes otherwise."

Peckish? How about lunch? Perhaps Mr Fletcher could bet 1000 units of art abstraction instead.
This is from Ian Fletcher's article 

America's Trade Deficit Is, Too, Real Money in The Huffington Post

November of 2006, Jackson Pollock’s “No.5 1948” sold  for $140 million.

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