Milton Friedman: A Joke and Some Serious Stuff

One day an economist looked up and saw a little girl being attacked by a vicious dog, just down the street. He rushed over and saved the girl by strangling the dog.

A reporter interviews him and says, “Sir, this is a wonderful thing you have done. Did you say you are an economist?”

“Yes, I am,” says the economist.

“Very good, sir,” says the reporter, “this will be our lead story tomorrow, and the headline will be ‘Radical libertarian economist saves little girl from vicious dog.

“Well, I’m not that radical,” says the economist. “I’m really more of a classical liberal.”

The reporter scratches his head and says, “Well, we’ll come up with something. Whose views would you say you are closest to?”

“Oh, I suppose it would be Milton Friedman,” says the economist.

Next day, the economist buys the paper. Across the front page is splashed: “CHICAGOITE KILLS FAMILY PET!”

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Ideas on the Road to Development

Last Thursday I hitched a ride from Pune to Mumbai in a friend’s car. Don’t be dismayed; this is not one of those personal blog posts “What I had for breakfast last week Thursday” types.

We set off bright and early in Nitin’s Mahindra Scorpio, a largish SUV-type car. The car is alright on a well-paved road but you get bounced around like crazy on badly paved pot-holed roads, especially if you elected to ride in the back seat like I did. For nearly 200 kms, we bounced along with only minor stretches of adequately-paved level road. Around half of the journey was on what is called the Pune-Mumbai “expressway.” You can maintain speeds of up to 120 kmph on that stretch, except for those bits that wind through the mountainous Western Ghats around Lonavla.
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Tubular Belle

Tubular BelleLast month, while waiting at San Francisco International airport for my flight back to India, I was tickled to see a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 which was named Tubular Belle taxi into the next parking bay. It had Richard Branson’s zany sense of humor written all over it. Mike Oldfield’s album Tubular Bells is one of my old-time favorites and, as it happened, I had it in my MP3 player (a new Creative Vision M, I will have you know). Clever name for a 747, I thought to myself. But I did not know the connection between Virgin and Mike Oldfield until this afternoon when I picked up and read Richard Branson’s book Screw it, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life. (Virgin Books (C) 2006).
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Advantages of Being a Village Idiot

My favorite village idiot joke goes – please stop me if you have heard this one – this way. Once upon a time, in a particular village, when offered a choice between a dime and a nickel, the village idiot would invariably grin and pick up the nickel and everyone would have a hearty laugh at the stupidity of the village idiot.

One day, a kind-hearted guy says to the village idiot, “You know, although a nickel is larger than a dime, it is only worth half a dime. You should pick up the dime.” The idiot says, “I know that. But if I pick up the dime, people would stop offering me the choice between taking a nickel or a dime, wouldn’t they? Who would be that stupid?”
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Interested in Transforming Education? (Part 2)

Thanks to all of you who have written to me in response to my post “Interested in Transforming Education?

First, it is very gratifying to note the volume of emails I received. I will, time permitting, respond to all of them. For now, I think it would be proper to answer some frequently raised questions. Continue reading

Interested in Transforming Education?

Want to transform education? Want to re-engineer the whole system of education so that it is effective, efficient, and relevant to the world of today?

I have the business plan and the funding. I need committed smart people who want to accomplish an important task, have fun while doing it, and make a lot of money (exactly in that order.)

Email me for details.

{Go to part 2 of this post.}