No new low: Quoting economists

* Is it my impression or has the Internet’s short attention span given new life to quotations? Blog software even has a specific button to set them off in special type. I’m still waiting for the resurgence of couplets.

* For a fine collection of quotes from a single author, and no mean writer, mostly about, of all things, economics, go here. If time is money, and life is time …

* Here’s one of those quotes, a sad truth that has profound implications for those who preach a religion principally of the mind: “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”

* Cse in point: Even when Johnny wants to talk about what he is thinking, he says, “I feel that …” That has to be one of the most unhappy (can I say, stupid?) expressions ever coined.

* As a rule, I rate economists down there with lawyers, politicians, doctors, and full-time religionists, most of whom charge by the hour, change their tune daily, and do no real work. So it’s good to see the occasional exception to the rule, this time in Mr. Sowell. So, no, we’ve not reached a new low by quoting economists.

* My MacBook is in the shop, first time ever, from a lightning strike or battery failure. I’ve used it daily, 14-16 hours, three years running, without a hitch. It was a refurbished model and worked like a dream. Now I can’t find a thing on the desktop PC. It failed at the worst possible moment, as if there were an ideal moment to fail. I probably won’t be able to afford the fix, considering prices here, so I’ll cart the not-yet-dead weight to the US.

* Usually, they’re from India, but today I get one from the Philippines. A preacher befriends me on Facebook, then comes the first contact with an appeal for money. Often, it comes disguised as a prayer for the work and an invitation to visit. But you get the hint in between the lines. It’s an automatic unfriend from me, but today I decided to reply with an echo of the original appeal to me. “Hello, I’m a poor missionary in Brazil. I pray you can help me in my area here.” Was that mean?

* I’m sensitive to the need for more investment in missions. At the same time, I gave up almost all of my personal support at one point in time and readied myself to make tents. I’ve also made my share of appeals. Some of the appeals that come of out of nowhere may be legitimate, but the suddeness and lack of context from which they come leaves them suspect. I’ve seen enough cases of self-interest, as well as damage done almost consistently, using American funds for national support. And still it continues. Some things we can’t seem to learn. Maybe we have something in common with Johnny.

2 thoughts on “No new low: Quoting economists

  1. Rick Kelley says:

    Sorry about the MAC, Johnny. Pretty sure I lost my Blackberry phone to a dishwater incident this morning. I decided quickly that I wasn’t entitled to mourn for it. I’m probably just stuck paying for a contract on a phone that doesn’t work. That’s just shoddy economics. However, I do feel that I’ve been injured in some way. Since I use email, text and twitter to keep up contact with church members, it’s technically a business expense. Perhaps I’ll draw up a support letter…:P

    • Lightning, dishwater, puts us all in the same boat, er, sink. Can’t you just swap out the hardware and keep the contract? Or does that take new Facebook friends with PayPal accounts? Ah, the helpful use of logic to justify, works every time.

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