1) Journalists often claim that Economics “has not been very successful in predicting the trends in history, and that this suggests that Economics is far from being a science.” When I read a journalist who makes this claim, it is clear to me that he is a fraud, a total fake. I have never read a serious economist who believes that this is the purpose of the economic science or even that economists can forecast the future. But, you do not have to be an economist to know this. It is obvious to anyone with a passing familiarity with the subject. This does not, of course, mean that we know nothing about the future, or that we cannot anticipate certain trends. Decent economists never encourage this tendency of journalists, and tell them that the monthly changes in economic indicators are not as important as they believe. But, their attitude is “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. This is a classic case of projecting ones own inferiority onto others. They assume that this is the goal of economics. Then, they blame the economists for not living up to their expectations. These critics of economics cannot even describe the content of economics with reasonable accuracy. This is true of all such frauds.
2) When I read a writer who claims that a particular view is not “subtle” or “nuanced”, or that it is a “black-and-white” perspective, I assume that he is a fake. People who love the truth have no use for this sort of criticism. People want to believe that a view that they disagree with is not “subtle” or “nuanced”, whatever that means. Often, these people have no understanding of the complexity of the position that they criticize. They simply assume that it is a childish view, because they do not like it, because it appears extreme, or because they hate good prose. Again, this is a projection of ones own inferiority onto others. Continue reading
Fritz Karinthy’s “The Refund” is a play I liked when I was 9. I read it to my little brother, and he liked it too. I lost the hard copy, but you can find anything over the web. Do read:
A man about 40 returns to his old school and demands to refund the tution fees paid by him 18 years back for the reason that the education given to him never proved useful and that he is now not good for anything.
The Principal is seated at his flat-tapped desk in his office in a high school. Enter a servant.
THE PRINICIPAL: Well, what is it?
THE SERVANT: A man, sir. Outside. He wants to see you.
THE PRINCIPAL [leaning back and stretching]: I receive parents only during office hours. The particular office hours are posted in the notice-board. Tell him that.
THE SERVANT: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. But it isn’t a parent, sir.
THE PRINCIPAL: A pupil?
THE SERVANT: I don’t think so. He has a beard.
THE PRINICPAL [disquieted]: Not a parent and not a pupil. Then what is he?
THE SERVANT: He told me I should just say Wasserkopf.
They have a disease called homosexuality. Do you know what it means?
In junior high school, the lunch break seemed all too short. When we were thirteen, every boy liked to play, except the class topper, a freak who never needed to study, and the wayward backbenchers. They did not leave the classroom when everyone else did. My only friend in high school once said, “He, and his friends, they have a disease called homosexuality. Do you know what it means?” I said, “Yes. I have read about it.”
I first read of homosexuality in a memoir in which the author, a scientist once met a friendly middle-aged man in a wine bar. The middle-aged man insisted that he needed a place to sleep. When the author said that there are many hotels in the city, the “friend” said that they are very expensive. The author took this man home, where he was staying as a paying guest. When the author decided to sleep on the sofa, asking him to sleep on the bed, the “friend” claimed that it made him feel guilty. He insisted that they could sleep together, puzzled, asking the author why he took him home when he had no intention to sleep together. The scientist did not understand what was going on. When he was asked to leave, the friend said that he needed money. The landlord woke up hearing the verbal duel, paid the friend, asked him to go, telling the author that there are many maricón’s in the city. Homosexuals. After this incident, the landlord and his daughter did not talk to him much. Continue reading
I was not sarcastic as a child. I was too innocent to understand the art of insinuation. When I was in second standard, one day, as usual, the children in my class wanted to go out and play instead of learning Math. Our Mathematics teacher was ingenious. She was a clever lady. She found a way to put an end to this nuisance by saying that the kids who prefer games to her class should line up in front of the classroom. I sprung up from my chair and cheerfully walked out of the classroom. After waiting for a while for the other kids to follow, I walked down the stairs.
Walking down the stairs, I ended up staring at my 1st standard class teacher who stood far away. I was still not over my deep crush over her. I used to be deeply depressed in those days. I had believed that she had left the school, and the job. I wondered whether, as usual, my suffering was unnecessary. There was of course, a reason why I fell for her. The law of causality tells us that nothing happens without a reason. In a parents teachers meeting, she had hugged me saying that I was such a quiet child. With a smug smile on my face, I thought how naive I was to believe that she was unaware of my existence. Continue reading
We were in Kindergarten, and our Summer vacations had just begun. On April 1st, when my little brother and I woke up in the morning and opened the door to play, we saw all our chairs hanging on a tree. On a placard, it was written large: “April Fool!” We stood there with an expression of astonishment on our faces. When we called our parents, they told us that it was the “April Fool’s Day”.
We intuited that some of my father’s students did that. I had seen these people. Once when my father gathered that they did not know the difference between Arabic numbers and Roman numerals, he called me and my brother. And then he said: “My children—They are in school. They know what it means.” After explaining it to them, I looked at them with intense disapproval, thinking: “I will never study with you, people.” Continue reading