Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote of the day

Paul Krugman, describing an Isaac Asimov book that inspired him to become an economist:
It’s not about gadgets. Although it’s supposed to be about a galactic civilisation, the technology is virtually invisible and it’s not about space battles or anything like that. The story is about these people, psychohistorians, who are mathematical social scientists and have a theory about how society works. The theory tells them that the galactic empire is failing, and they then use that knowledge to save civilisation. It’s a great image. I was probably 16 when I read it and I thought, “I want to be one of those guys!” Unfortunately we don’t have anything like that and economics is the closest I could get.
Talk about revenge of the nerds. Is it any wonder that statists are widely stereotyped as arrogant, self-aggrandizing elites determined to rule over the benighted masses in order to save them from themselves?
Update: Other observations on the Krugman interview from which the quote is taken from Don Boudreaux, David Henderson and Warren Meyer.

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