By David Foster Wallace
During this exuberantly praised ebook - a set of 7 items on matters starting from tv to tennis, from the Illinois country reasonable to the flicks of David Lynch, from postmodern literary idea to the meant enjoyable of touring aboard a Caribbean luxurious cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction an analogous interest, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has thrilled readers of his fiction, together with the bestselling Infinite Jest.
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Extra info for A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments
According to Lewis, the advantage of economic growth is not that wealth increases happiness, but that it increases the range of human choice ... We certainly cannot say that an increase in wealth makes people happier. We cannot say, either, that an increase in wealth makes people less happy, and even if we could say this, it would not be a decisive argument against economic growth, since happiness is not the only good thing in life. We do not know what the purpose of life is, but if it were happiness, then evolution might just as weil have stopped a long time ago, since there is no reason to believe that men are happier than pigs or fishes.
If quantitative growth in real GNP is considered a permanent norm that must never cease, then it is convenient not to compare costs and benefits lest they become equal at the margin (wh ich is the usual tendency). One way to avoid comparing costs and benefits is to add them together and treat the sum as if it were the most unique of all good things, that for wh ich more is always better 52 On Sustainable Development and National Accounts than less. But GNP is a conftation of costs, benefits and changes in accumulation, and is no better a guide to determine the optimum level of economic activity than is the stock of gold bullion.
1 X 71,3' 6"",,1 ,. 59 '52 ,- .. ' Q5- 2 5 10 20 50 pre-industrial crops semi-industrial crops full industrial crops full industrial animal products and whole farms energy budgets Gerald Leach, Energy and Food Production, lIED, 1975. E Q. I Q. , « J: a: >-I 100 200 • x • o 9 Energy inputs and outputs per unit of land area in food production (world) ~ Michael Common 25 context, in that whereas in societies where agriculture is either not in being or in the pre-industrial stage its output is typically a direct input to consumption, in societies where agriculture is industrialised (and highly productive on conventional accounting conventions) its output is rarely a direct input to consumption.
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments by David Foster Wallace