Monday, May 7, 2007

Case of the Mondays: This is What it Sounds Like, When Economists Cry

I don't know about you, but few things cheer me up more than being a neutral observer of a catfight. As long as the incident had nothing to do with me I can sit back and relax and bask in two people going at each other's throats for some reason and take comfort in the fact that there was at least one problem that I enountered during my day that wasn't totally and completely my fault. Feels pretty good to have not screwed up.

Now when the fight is between two quasi-celebrity intellectuals the fight is even more amusing and reassuring that I am not the only one who screws everything up that I come into contact with. To make matters dismal, there are a lot of things that we screw up on a daily basis, like relationships, pasta, Ikea furniture, you name it, we daily run the risk of ruining it, so it's always great to see that, if something had to be ruined, it wasn't ruined by you, and this can be especially comforting if the thing ruined is something relatively important like economics, for example, "sure I left the pizza pie in the oven too long, but at least I didnt' ruin economics!"

So even if you ruined like one econometric equation you will feel like you're doing great in comparison to Steven Levitt, author of (get your) Freakonomics, who according to Noah Sheiber, is ruining economics.

Apparently Scheiber wrote an article in TNR which I can't fully read so I don't really know what it said, but boy was Steven Levitt upset. His response is great because you can totally read it and imagine the guy coming home after a hard day at the office and delivering this angry monologue to his buddies or whoever.

Don't know whether he is really ruining economics or not but his angry rant should be sufficient to get me over my case of the Mondays.

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