Posted by: chaterton | May 13, 2008

english-french eco-soup

Needs and Abilities (Ni-Ai)



This is not a paper on research as such on Needs and Abilities (Ni – Bi). I would rather see it as a contribution to the epistemologic foundations of economic theory

It seems astonishing ; to say the least that we could speak of economic theory when we don’t even know what we are talking about .

What would you think of a chemist or a physicist who may be blattering on any scientific meeting with claims on research on theoretical atoms they know nothing about ?

This is exactly the position of our most distinguished Nobel prize in Economics

Actually Economics could well be defined as the “science” of human needs

And of course its main task would be devoted to find the means to satisfy those needs – we shall use in this analysis the more appropriate term of “cover the needs “–


Before going further on the analysis we may ask what would be the final and more likely ….the practical benefit derived from the knowledge of the series (Ni-Ai) ?

If anything ,unemployment problems are more often than not rooted in inadequacy of supply to demand in the labor market. Better knowledge of Ai means better use of skills , hence less distorsions on jobs market

First of all from the research on (Ni-Ai) could emerge the definition of an index of global satisfaction – In an ideal society each need is covered with one – and only one – ability

This rather simplistic view should be somewhat reassessed …later on

To begin with we do not refer to human needs as such ; we should rather focus on cells’ needs

These are known at least in dietetics ,from the various packaging which litter the supermarkets all over the world

The reason why we do this is straightforward : it would be a huge task to even try to identify let alone to classify these needs ; There are of course billions of cells in human organism but their number is considerably reduced when we think of their social – or rather biological –functions .

These in turn could be reduced to the unique Ni which matter in any human life and that is the research or pursuit of greater pleasure. Some philosophic doctrines go as far as to reduce this pursuit as  the only real goal of our life . More reasonably we could assume that the intensity of a human life is proportionate to the intensity of this fundamental Ni : i-e  : the hunt of pleasure

or more emphatically : the thirst of living

This assumption is unchanged when we deal with human cells

Gradually the pleasure in life move from the rudimentary Ni of food to the more elaborate Ni of (eg) arts and education ….etc …


Let us state as follows some basic Ni of humans :

Foods and drinks

Clothing (shelter)

Housing (sleep)

Leisure – holidays and like …-

Family Ni ( affection love …)

Socialising – gossip …

We can summarise these observations for an individual or a group in the following table (I-1)

Table I-a :

Code   Amounts ($) Calories Observations
  FOOD (1) (2)  
  TOTAL   (3)  
Legend : (1) Amounts in local currency or in $ known from statistical data
(2) Determined after the percentages from column 3 (1)

(3) there might be two figures depending on hypothetical result ( theory) and from experience





: total amount of “needs” may vary in the society – all individuals are never equal nevertheless the theoretical amount – happy mind sound body – should be constant and universal whatever the ethnic climatic or social conditions


Table I-a shows the way to determine global input for an individual or a group

We start with the amount of calories needed for food this amount can be traced on any package sold in the supermarket of any country

From the knowledge of the percentage of each item ( clothing , leisures …etc ) we may convert the money spent on these items in power units ( Joules , calories , watts etc …)

Non answered questions :




Why are people so keen on getting richer ( or wiser or bigger or better-off … ) than their neighbor ?

What are the differences between real and imaginary needs If we happen to look introspectively to our Ni we may find out that some of these are “suggested” by the publicity

How come that some Ni may be extended from a group to another , this propriety is not shared with all Ni : A whole segment of the well known theory of “conspiscuous expenses” may come under close scrutiny here

Next stage : Planning research …planning !


Message Internet
English –> french


Pour une typologie des besoins et des aptitudes
Cet appel concerne tous les économistes de France et de Navarre

Comment concevoir une science économique sans la connaissance des besoins – et des aptitudes ? (Ai – Bi)

Une typologie des Ai –Bi n’est pas une tâche surhumaine, il suffit de penser au génome humain , qui aurait cru une telle chose possible avant qu’elle ne fut réalisée et pourtant … imaginez le bond prodigieux que feraient les sciences sociales sous une telle impulsion

Les progrès récents de l’informatique placent aujourd’hui cette aventure dans le domaine de l’envisageable ; les moyens sont là ; il suffit de constituer une équipe de chercheurs

Si l’on trouve le moyen de rendre compatible les Ai avec les Bi au sein d’une collectivité tous les problèmes – le chômage n’étant pas un des moindres – seraient résolus du jour au lendemain !

Qu’on veuille seulement considérer les avantages retirés d’une telle entreprise :

Et l’on pourrait ensuite gloser indéfiniment sur les coût ou la possibilité ou la faisabilité d’une telle entreprise

Première tâche : réunir une équipe pluridisciplinaire ; les mesures seront faites en effet au niveau cellulaire : quelle belle occasion d ‘amarrer la science économque aux autres branches du savoir : chimie ; anthropologie , medecine climatologie etc …Ce ne serait pas le moindre des degâts collatéraux d’une telle entreprise : sortir les économistes de leur splendide- et misérable – isolement

On ne remet pas en cause une entreprise grandiose par des considérations de coûts , même si les économistes sont sensibles – par déformation professionnelle – à cet aspect des choses

Réflechissons avant d’écarter cette direction de recherche avec un haussement d’épaules ; le scepticisme n’est pas demise lorsque l’avenir de l’humanité est en jeu




english again :

The Needs and Abilities ( Ni and Ai)
This is a cry for help

It may concern all academics in USA or elsewhere , who have any interest in economic theory or for that matter , in the progress of science as a whole

A typology of Ni and Ai may prove to be as inspiring as the research on human genome and the consequences might be as overwhelmingly crucial for the future of social sciences

Just an exemple : Supposing we could find a simple means – repeat “simple” – to measure all human needs ; the next stage would be to set a series of corresponding figures between all Ni and Ai of hulman species

Then all the dark evils of our societies – the unemployment not being the least – will disappear overnight

Isn’t that wonderful ?

And there might be more to come : the whole basis of economical and social sciences would be revolutionized .To begin with the borderline between social and physics or chemistry will disappear since the measurement of Ni (or Ai) will include thorough studies of human cells. Speaking of food for example a basic Ni we shall to find an equivalent between calories and dollars – or any local currency –

What about the cost of such an enterprise ?

Well …to be honest we have no idea . As economists we cannot of course ignore this aspect of the research . Should we not focus on the advantages derived from such research ? Why bother ourselves with such a “trifle” when the future of human kind is at stake ?

Think twice before waving aside this suggestion …
Posted 13/05/08
Decline of the Evil Empire
Mind ! these lines are written for those people who like me, have their heart split between the old Europe and the New Empire
Which some people say , is already on the falling side of the cycle

Understandable only fot those whose heart liesBetween Good and Evil (Empire)




The previous question was :
Why did the U.S. lose the war in Vietnam
Many answers :
If the Boys were more concerned about the ” power and glory ” of the ” Stars and Stripes ”
If the leftish-jewish-democrat-intelligenzia were more concerned by the future of the country tan tei seats inthe Congress or elsewhere ! –

You can’t expect too win the war if you prevent your men for bombing the ennemy beyond the 17th ( ?) parallel
Candour and naïvete have nothing to do in the battelfield
Now is ther a leson to be drawn from teh american sad experience ?
More en that later
The battle is now on the economic field
And the Empire is more likely to lose it too
It incumbs to the international community ot take adequate measures to revitalize the now somewhat withering -fluttering American economy
Le juste retour des choses : Ayant profité jusqu’â ces derniers temps de    la clause de la nation la plus favorisee la Chine pourrait aujourd’hui renvoyer l’ascenceur
Et pendant qu’on y est on pourrait aussi revoir les contributions des pays au budget des Nations Unies
Et pendant qu’on y est encore , les Europeens , depuis le temps que les americains leur demandent
Pourraient aussi mettre la main au porte-monnaie
Pour l’instant ils n’ont eu que la funeste idee de cheviller l’euro au dollar
Ce qui était la pire des solutions
Puisqu’elle ne pouvait qu’être profitable à l’autre Empire , celui du Milieu
Que dire d’autre ? y a -t-il des signes manifestes du declin ?










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