Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,372
    Likes Received:
    4,565
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    

    That's my argument. That this "quality" is a meaningless and useless construct. But my understanding is that Monkeyface and his followers consider quality an objective score.
     


  2. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,372
    Likes Received:
    4,565
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Not that you have to adopt the economist's definition of rational preferences, but the standard definition is, I would say, VERY permissive. Preferences are rational if they are complete (between two options, you can always say if you like one better than the other, or that each is as good as the other) and transitive (if you prefer a to B and B to c, you must prefer a to c).

    Even so, there are examples where people consistently violate transitivity. It's somewhat unclear whether this represents a kind of freak situation where our heuristics lead us astray, like optical illusions, or if it's an extremely important and diffuse problem with our decision making. But the weak definition of rationality means it's quite hard to establish that someone is doing "something wrong".
     


  3. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    10,084
    Likes Received:
    21,416
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Location:
    Texas.
    That was the definition I had in mind. I just wouldn't consider a decision which violates that rationality as an accurate reflection of preferences. Though that may be bordering on a tautology.

    The only time I'd consider a decision "wrong", from a "rational" perspective, is if the agent makes a decision, in possession of relevant information though not necessarily accessing that information, which conflicts with his complete preferences in a "cold state."

    Also, I'm not paying you anything for anything I learn from you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014


  4. Murlsquirl

    Murlsquirl The Moral Squirrel Dubiously Honored Moderator

    Messages:
    9,106
    Likes Received:
    11,611
    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    CA
    I just buy stuff that goes well with my bike
    [​IMG]


    ...figured I'd break up this nerdy discussion before Clags has a hard on for more than 4 hours and has to call a doctor.
     


  5. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

    Messages:
    69,060
    Likes Received:
    31,230
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    

    dollar figures are whatever the hell a proprietor decides to mark his wares at. that is all. what some person or company decides to set as the price, has no correlation to how nice it is, or if the price is commensurate to some hypothetical value/quality quantifier. i agree with unbel, that you cannot qualify how much, or what percentage, item A is nicer than, or of better quality than, item B. its either nicer in the eye of the beholder, or not. and the customer will chose to buy or not buy, based on his budget, desires, and personal tastes. and it just so happens, that most people find the more expensive stuff to be nicer.

    oh, i think i am usually an outlier in many respects.


    that is the thing that i aint buying.


    glad someone did it! i almost went comatose.
     


  6. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,372
    Likes Received:
    4,565
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC

    In my original post I elided the distinction between preferences and choices. What you're proposing is that it's irrational for someone to choose an item from a menu when she likes another item on the same menu better. That's a reasonable proposition, but it's not a testable one, because we don't observe preferences - we can only observe them from choices. So I can't tell you when someone has chosen an item that is not their most preferred item from a menu.

    What can I tell you from choices? I can tell you if the choices are consistent with someone who has rational preferences choosing from each menu their most-preferred item. Leaving out a little bit of technical detail, the main requirement is that the choices satisfy the following condition: If you choose x from a menu that includes y, and later choose y from a menu that includes x, you must also be willing to choose x from that same menu (in this framework, you are allowed to state not just a single item to choose, but a set of items that you would be equally happy choosing).

    If you violate this requirement, then EITHER 1) you have underlying preferences that are not rational OR 2) you are not making choices in accordance with your preferences. I don't know how you could ever tell the difference between these two possibilities, or if there is actually any meaningful difference, since "preferences" are just a construct that we use to talk about choice anyway. Sometimes people claim that if someone reverses their choice when an inconsistency is explained to them, then this is evidence of 2). I guess. But you could also just say they changed their preferences when given additional information. I think the difference is just semantic. There is a separate discussion of whether someone is made "better off" by their bias being "corrected" - but a lot of economists have misgivings about this kind of project.
     


  7. Monkeyface

    Monkeyface Senior member

    Messages:
    3,899
    Likes Received:
    4,746
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
    I'm outclassed in economic theories here, as I only have undergrad and postgrad knowledge, but I still think you can assess the quality of certain parts of a shoe.

    There is shitty leather from different cuts of the cow, that shows wrinkles much faster and is not as thick or supple as more expensive leather. The way the shoe is made can also be assessed. Is the lasting on or off centre, how clean is the welt, is the shoe hand welted or gemmed, how does the surface stitching look, etc. I have shoes that cost 260 and 340 and 600. The 340 ones still look like the day I bought them, while the 260 one has lots of wrinkles in the leather, because the leather is from a worse part of the cow, the soles have started to split from the uppers, the stitching is pretty sloppy, I had to go by the cobbler to resole them twice, despite equal wear, etc.

    The subjective part is whether I think the €80 price difference is worth those differences. I also have a pair of Edward greens, that retail at about €600. They look the same as the Carminas after a year of wear, they're both gemmed shoes, and the last/details are equally appealing to me. So, will I pay an extra €260 to get another EG instead of a Carmina? No, I won't. It's subjective, but it makes sense for me as an individual.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014


  8. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,372
    Likes Received:
    4,565
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    

    Sure, there are differences between goods and in some cases most people might agree that in one dimension one of the goods is definitely better. But aggregating all these differences into something called "quality" that has numbers with cardinal meanings attached to them is nonsense.
     


  9. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    10,084
    Likes Received:
    21,416
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Location:
    Texas.
    I think that this is where I am coming from. I remember the first time a professor pointed me in the direction of Thaler's Anomalies series in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. I was in love.
     


  10. AJL

    AJL Senior member

    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    839
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Jesus you guys are getting pretty fuqqin wonky here. There is no universal quantifiable measure of quality vs value. Up to the individual. Boom, done.

    How about a How Smart Are You Today Thread, where we can match wits with each other in a cerebral death match, postdoc to postdoc ?

    Then we can compete for Best Dressed, Smartest, and how about Most Likely To Succeed? We can even elect an SF Homecoming King & Queen if that works for you.
     


  11. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,372
    Likes Received:
    4,565
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC

    Still, those are articles are more about describing choices - hey look, people are doing something weird that violates our standard models - rather than them doing something wrong.
     


  12. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

    Messages:
    69,060
    Likes Received:
    31,230
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    lets compete to the death in all the above categories!
     


  13. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

    Messages:
    5,387
    Likes Received:
    966
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    Sartorial Wasteland
    I'll leave this here, my formula for Sartorial Relativity:

    [​IMG]

    A varient on Einstein's work :teach:
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014


  14. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    10,084
    Likes Received:
    21,416
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Location:
    Texas.
    Right, but his book he wrote with Sunstein took it the next step.
     


  15. AJL

    AJL Senior member

    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    839
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    

    Finally, the voice of reason! Thank you sir, for this refreshing interlude.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by