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Monday, May 18, 2009
Discover Your Inner Economist
Now I'm a big fan of Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen's blog. See it's right over there on the blogroll. He's probably one of my favorite libertarians and a great modern thinker.
I desperately wanted to love this book and I did make it all the way through but it wasn't the experience I wanted it to be. I can't even think of a funny metaphor to describe how dissapointed I was.
Firstly, the questions in the subtitle weren't even answered. How do you use incentives to fall in love? Well this topic was addressed by stating that it's completely obvious that you use incentives in love and relationships, money isn't the only means of exchange. Uh yeah, most of us know that already Tyler. The dentist? Well you can't motivate a dentist because a person visiting a dentist would evaluate a dentist on how pain free the experience is, not on the long term health benefits that a good dentist will give. Mr. Cowen states the problem and then throws up his hands and states that you can't solve the problem. How do you survive meetings? Have less of them of course, they're all just a big waste of time according to Tyler.
So now why did I make it through? Because when Tyler isn't lazily asking questions he won't answer and isn't thumping his podium too hard he has some good bits of wisdom.
Things like eat healthily at home and junk when you go out. Why? Because you can't make unhealthy food as well as a restaurant can so if you're going to have a good balance between good food and bad you may as well make the bad food as good as it can possibly be.
So Tyler. Maybe you are a great macro economist and maybe you are a great guy. Next time though how about you stick to one or the other.