Economics For People (w/ Ha-Joon CHANG)
February 6, 2021 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Just curious as to why you render his family name in all caps. The sources you link to do not. Nor do Chang's Wikipedia page or his personal website.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:22 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]

Oh, now this is exciting!!! Both 23 Things and Bad Samaritans were great (if a bit anger-inducing) reads, and Economics: The User's Guide was a great way to ease into the overall topic, so I am over the moon at the idea of these videos!
posted by mittens at 1:30 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]

Re Capitalizing family names: Had recently run into a situation where a person was family-name-first in one place, given-name-first somewhere else. Seemed like the thing to do at the time.

In Korean, his name is 장하준, which is family-first. But Prof. Chang has also been teaching in England for some time, and he seems to follow the English naming conventions when publishing and lecturing in English.

If the Professor were to publish a paper with a member of BTS who seems to do his name family first even in English, it would be a paper by Ha-Joon CHANG and PARK Ji-Min.

I’ve seen the convention more and more in movie credits. This way anybody’s name can be rendered in either format as they choose, but you always can tell which which part of their name is which, even when it’s from a language in which don’t know given names from side dishes, how they format names, and if this person is following that format or not.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:41 PM on February 6 [40 favorites]

Interesting, thanks for the info.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:46 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]

Capitalising people's family name is expected practice in the genealogy groups I use, because there are different naming conventions even within European cultures. But, that's because distinguishing between a family and a personal name is helpful in tracing relationships. I think it looks pedantic in more discursive contexts, and one runs the risk of (a) getting the elements confused and (b) wrongly assuming that all cultures and individuals do distinguish between family and personal names.

A good alternative IMO is to always use a person's full name except when one is both very sure what abbreviated form would be appropriate in that particular context and the context is such that one can avoid marking other names as being "foreign" by failing to abbreviate them.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:47 PM on February 6

[Let's tack back toward the content of the post at this point.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:14 PM on February 6 [9 favorites]

A great collection, thank you!
posted by frumiousb at 3:48 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

Looks interesting, are there text transcripts available online?
posted by ovvl at 5:34 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]

I’ve never understood why Ha-Joon Chang was considered a “heterodox” economist.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:41 PM on February 6

(Similar, I think in both name and approach, to the also lovely book Economics for Everyone, by Jim Stanford. This collection of videos looks to be fairly extensive and detailed, thanks!)
posted by eviemath at 6:47 PM on February 6

i do enjoy the one book by him i managed to read, so this is great, and thank you!
posted by cendawanita at 9:10 PM on February 6

[Fixed "Nature of Economics" link; thanks, flagger! Also, OP, it looks like the 4th and 5th links lead to the same url? Let us know if that should be changed.]
posted by taz (staff) at 12:05 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]

Apocryphon -- do you mean in the sense of "what makes what this guy is doing different from orthodox economists?" or in the sense of "it seems like this guy should be more famous?"
posted by dismas at 9:59 AM on February 7

Thanks, @Taz. If I had a different video in mind, it is lost in the “Economics-ception” that is this post already. ;-)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:43 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]

I'd never seen an RSA Animate video before. What a great visual style for this material! It reminds me a bit of Will Eisner's drawing style, particularly his Joe Dope series in PS. Thanks for posting.
posted by the sobsister at 10:55 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]

Bad Samaritans was so eye opening. This is one of those books that can permanently make you immune to some insidious bullshit. It's worth reading just for the story (and sources) about 18th century english and french travellers writing off Germany as a hopelessly backward place, which was obviously due to their culture. Naturally this culture was intrinsic, immutable and any attempts to change these lazy germans, to develop the country was doomed to fail.

And then, Chang lists western accounts from the early 19th century about the intrinsic lazyness of the Japanese, which is due to their conception of time (?!). Reading how seriously these arguments were taken and knowing how wrong they were, permanently immunizes you from the same kind of thinking all too present today.
posted by kmt at 11:35 AM on February 7 [11 favorites]

Apocryphon -- do you mean in the sense of "what makes what this guy is doing different from orthodox economists?" or in the sense of "it seems like this guy should be more famous?"

He should be more famous, though he seems to be fairly well-known already. I mean he's often labelled as "heterodox", but I don't know what actual economic orthodoxy he's going up against.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:09 AM on February 8

As far as “heterodoxy” what comes to mind is his lecture on the individual as the indivisible unit of economic analysis. Individuals as atomic, rationally-based preference maximizers is the foundation of neoliberalism and its tenet that the right to exercise one’s private property rights is the most important of all rights.

Prof. Chang points out that this philosophical proposition ignores the role corporations play in economic decision making, as well notions about the divided self (Do I “want” the donut I’m eating, or did I want to keep my diet but could not?), social identities and group associations as motivating factors, etc.

His heterodoxy is in arguing that:
A: Economics should study the economy.
B: Economics is always political.
C: How “the individual” is defined is not a neutral given.
D: Economists are generally obscurantist when they don’t need to be.

Those factors alone put him at odds with a lot of the field.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:51 AM on February 8 [6 favorites]

He also explains how both classical Liberalism and Neoliberalism are surprisingly anti-democratic, because in essence they believe in “1 dollar, 1-vote” and that when the people democratically vote to limit private property rights, this is a bad thing that must be stopped.

Calling Neoliberalism “anti-democratic” when it’s one of the dominant economic theories that is supposed to be making us freer and happier is heterodox.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:57 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

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