OK, enough of Noam Chomsky. His brilliant theories of human language structure and generative grammar holds one’s attention only for so long before boredom descends. His opinions on politics is mildly amusing but his take on economics is totally wacko.
Let’s move on to the chimpanzee named after him, Neam Chimpsky (1973 – 2000). Nim, as he was called, was the subject of an extended study of animal language acquisition at Columbia University. To pay for his study, I suppose Nim had to do household chores, doing the dishes etc. I guess that Nim’s take on economics could not have been much worse than Noam’s.
My friend Akshar pointed me to a YouTube video in which Thomas Sowell talks about intellectuals in society. They briefly discuss Chomsky. As always, Sowell is insightful. Check it out, below the fold. Continue reading
18 Hayek Quotes That Show the Importance of Liberty
by Gary M. Galles
May 8th marked Friedrich Hayek’s birthday. Called “the most prodigious classical liberal scholar of the 20th century,” Milton Friedman explained his importance:
Over the years, I have again and again asked fellow believers in a free society how they managed to escape the contagion of their collectivist intellectual environment. No name has been mentioned more often as the source of enlightenment than Friedrich Hayek’s.” Continue reading
Noam Chomsky is a very intelligent person. I do have more than a hint of his brilliance in linguistics because I studied formal grammar and languages during my computer science days. It would be foolish to deny his stellar contributions to his field of expertise. It will be equally foolish to take him seriously in matters that are outside his field.
Insight, knowledge and understanding in some domain does not overflow into other domains, sometimes not even into neighboring domains. Shakespeare was a great poet and an acute observer and commentator on the human condition. But I would not trust him to teach me quantum mechanics. Continue reading
Bringing you lower quality and fewer choices since the 16th Century, reads the caption to the image of capitalism. The grim image of the evils of capitalism is captured in William Blake’s evocative phrase “the dark satanic mills.” Is it true that because capitalism rests on selfishness and greed that we don’t have a heaven on earth?
In human society in all ages the number of angels devoid of any greed and selfishness is astonishingly low. Most people are self-interested at least, if not outright selfish; and most people want more of the good stuff for themselves and their loved ones, if not outright greedy. That’s the truth about the human condition. That’s what we have to work with, and bemoaning that fact, or worse ignoring that fact, is not going to help at all. Continue reading
I wouldn’t bother commenting on crypto currencies because I don’t understand the topic. But this is just too good to pass up. Buffet and Munger are not fans of the stuff. CNBC reported back on Jan 10, 2018 that Warren Buffett thinks cryptocurrencies will end badly.
Buffet considers it a method of transmitting money and has no intrinsic value. He has said that bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared” and noxious.
This is from the Berkshire Hathaway AGM last weekend in Omaha, Nebraska: Continue reading
When Nobel laureate physicist Ernest Rutherford (1871 – 1937) claimed that “Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting” he was perhaps displaying the arrogance that comes with the territory of knowing certain fundamental truths that are denied to non-physicists.
Economists too can be arrogant for similar reasons. They know something about human society that others are generally not aware of — and what’s more — are unaware of their ignorance.
It’s not a sin to be arrogant but displaying it is definitely impolite and predictably makes a person unpopular. I speak from experience. What am I going on about, you may ask. I was reading Deirdre McCloskey today. Continue reading
J.R.D. Tata was born in Paris, France in 1904 and died in Geneva, Switzerland in 1993. You’d think that he was as Indian as one gets but he was only half Indian. His father was Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his mother Suzanne “Sooni” Brière. His mother tongue was French. As a French citizen, on turning 20, he had to serve in the French army for a year.
J.R.D. was the founder of many Tata companies, including Tata Airlines in 1932 (which became Air India in 1946 — which was nationalized in 1953) for which he is known as the “Father of Indian Civil Aviation.” He was chairman of Air India until Prime Minister Morarji Desai fired him in 1977. Continue reading