The financier’s Umwelt

Gail Collins’ most recent column, which miraculously does not mention Mitt Romney’s dog or his trip to Canada strapped to the roof of the Romney family car, takes as its starting point the claim that JPMorgan Chase’s huge trading loss stemmed from the fact that the risk manager person had Lyme disease. This leads to meditations on ticks and exploding deer populations, and it includes one line that I found positively inspiring: “it’s a nice change of pace to be able to put the blame for bad developments on simple-minded critters who have no idea that there’s anything in the world outside their own need to feed and reproduce. Like deer. Or ticks. Or Donald Trump.”

Someone absolutely needs to write a description of the Umwelt of various unsavory characters, modelled on Uexküll’s description of the tick’s impoverished Umwelt. Perhaps we would learn that the real problem was that the JPMorgan Chase traders were “poor in world.”

2 thoughts on “The financier’s Umwelt

  1. A sidenote: this post exemplifies something I would like to see more of — namely, the use of in-line quotes rather than blockquotes in blog posts. Blockquotes have their place, but in my opinion they are vastly overused in blogs.

  2. The tick story proves definitively that we should take more account of non-human actants and the assemblages they form with what I call our “hominid ecology” and that yada yada hmufnufsnmdhukhfwupklmfffff….

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