Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Thursday, September 8, 2011

FAUX FRAIS

At various points in CAPITAL, Marx refers to "faix frais." For a long time, the phrase exercised a strange fascination for me, until I discovered that it simply means "incidental costs." Having arrived in Paris, I now find myself faced with certain "faux frais." One involves internet access in my apartment. I rent the apartment from time to time when we are not staying here, and these days internet access is obviously an absolute necessity if I wish to find tenants. Over the years, this has been a constant source of difficulty. I finally thought I had solved the problem, and wrote up a guide to people staying here, complete with the password given to me by a FranceTelecom technician.

Good luck. People continue to struggle with internet access. So I called from North Carolina before coming out and set up a "rendez-vous" [nothing romantic, just the French for "appointment"] with a technician for today between 10 am and noon. Well, when Susie and I returned from the market with the food I shall cook this evening, I found a message telling me that the technician will not be here until 2-4 this afternoon.

The cost of this dead simple adjustment to the "LiveBox" that serves as a router? 110 Euros, which at today's exchange rate is roughly $154. I am absolutely certain that Susie's thirteen year old grandson, Noah, were he here, could do it in an instant. That is just one of the "faux frais" of having an apartment in Paris.

4 comments:

Chris said...

Damn. All service calls to my internet are free. America actually beats france at a service? Woo-hoo!

Robert Paul Wolff said...

When it comes to the internet, everyone beats France!!! Don't even get me started on the cable television situation.

NotHobbes said...

In the Western Highlands the internet could more suitably be described as the error-net. One watches a blue revolving circle for what seems an eternity before the inevitable "error".
One can purchase this fascinating blue sphere for as little as £15 per month(Excluding £12 per month line rental and 20% V.A.T;costs and surcharges may vary periodically, agreeing to terms and conditions binds user to 24 month contract. Contract may be terminated with cancellation fee of 24 months payment in advance of service)

Slight embellishment :-)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

But surely the Western Highlands have other delights!