Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quotes of the day

For those of us who believe in physics this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.--Albert Einstein

If a state is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are subjects of shame.--Confucius

I've long scoffed at government inefficiency, but it never occurred to me that a full pork barrel could be so slow to empty.--Bryan Caplan

The relevant event is that the insurance industry seems to have turned against Obama's health care reform. Everyone who cares about American democracy and rule of law should be complaining about Harry Reid, Patrick Leahy and their allies in this move. So far I don't hear the outcry.--Tyler Cowen

Apparently the Saudis want us to pay them for their losses if we cut our petroleum consumption. As long as they pay us for the movies, bourbon, and bikinis they're not consuming, this seems eminently fair to me.--Megan McArdle

So the short answer is that the economics profession is going to hate the prize going to [Elinor] Ostrom even more than Republicans hated the Peace prize going to Obama. Economists want this to be an economists’ prize (after all, economists are self-interested). This award demonstrates, in a way that no previous prize has, that the prize is moving toward a Nobel in Social Science, not a Nobel in economics.--Steven Levitt

Elinor showed that there are lots of important cases where people follow rules about ownership without police officers. One of the central challenges in understanding failures of economic development is that in many places, police officers don’t follow the rules they are meant to enforce. ... Cheers to the Nobel committee for recognizing work on one of the deepest issues in economics. Bravo to the political scientist who showed that she was a better economist than the economic imperialists who can’t tell the difference between assuming and understanding.--Paul Romer

When the smart guys started this business of securitizing things that didn’t even exist in the first place, who was running the firms they worked for? Our guys! The lower third of the class! Guys who didn’t have the foggiest notion of what a credit default swap was. All our guys knew was that they were getting disgustingly rich, and they had gotten to like that. All of that easy money had eaten away at their sense of enoughness.--Calvin Trillin

He's riling up people who already feel a certain way. That kind of thing makes any hope of a rational debate fade. There are those that hail the internet as this sort of modern day salon. Where any voice can be heard, creating a Renaissance of intelligent thought. Sadly I think its just the opposite.--Accrued Interest

Why make him into some Darth Vader
For sodomizing one eighth grader?
This man is brilliant, that's for sure--
Authentically, a film auteur.
He gets awards that are his due.
He knows important people, too--
Important people just like us.
And we know how to make a fuss.
Celebrities would just be fools
To play by little people's rules.
So Roman's banner we unfurl.
He only raped one little girl. --Calvin Trillin

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