September 30th, 2005


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03:15 pm - on committing ultra mega mass genocide...

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on committing ultra mega mass genocide... - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


From: (Anonymous) Date: October 2nd, 2005 - 11:13 pm (Link)


Ha, I've been waiting for years to have someone actually ask for the economist rant.
Here are my anthropological observations of a bizarre sub-culture.



Rant, Part One



  1. The first thing that you need to know about economists is that there a bunch of geeky white (and Asian) guys who are good at math. There's not a one in the bunch who doesn't have a handshake made of spaghetti and a backbone like a chocolate éclair. Not, of course, that there's anything wrong with that. When I left the hallowed halls of economics to become a software engineer, it's not like I suffered a huge culture shock. But it's an important point to consider as we proceed to point two.

  2. Economists are, to a one, innate contrarians
    They were right about rent control, and by God, cost-benefit analysis shows that benefits of talking on a cell phone while you drive far exceed the costs of all the dead drivers. (http://slate.msn.com/id/2061330)

    In an economist's mind, conventional wisdom is all bunk, and clever analysis will show that the truth is much different. Combined with point one above, this leads to some interesting discussions in departmental
    meetings


  3. Economists believe that people are rational.
    Now, rational means something different to an economist that to a normal human being. In the first week of micro economic theory (graduate school, not that pap that they teach the undergrads), budding economists are taught something like this. Rational means that people have certain goals (which may differ from what they actually tell other people) and that they will act to the best of their knowledge and ability to achieve those goals. Now if your goal is to obsessively assemble and dis-assemble bicycles as you wait for you next crystal meth hit that's still rational. Economists don't make normative judgments (Normative is a real popular word in economist circles.).


    Now in week two, they teach you to forget all that crap you learned in week one. Rational means people try to grab as much money as possible, work as little as possible and do what they can to minimize any risk. People have perfect information about everything in the world (or at the very least the understand exactly how the world works and can instantly solve world-wide sourcing transportation events in their head, figure out the cheapest cellular plan, etc.).


    Economists go with choice two because otherwise the math's too hard. And easy math is what makes the economic world go round.





End Rant, Part One

 

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