The Virtues of Binary Thinking

What are economists good for anyway?

I look at Tyler Cowen and I ask for one main piece of information: Does this man have a sense of humor? Yes or no. This is a binary decision.

Once I have the answer to this question, if I happen to be entering my apartment building from its southern angle, I abdicate my own sense of humor to the doorman. The truly successful man — and I learned this from reading Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, and Tyler Cowen — is one who simply says yes or no. Just as when you are presented with a pair of breasts in front of your face. You either nibble the nipple or you walk away and make money. One choice or the other.

There can be no room for vacillating over a decision. No room for irony. No room for emotion. Long tail. Long tail. Tipping point.

We live in a world in which gray areas are no longer possible. It is the critic’s job to write like Harriet Klausner. Forget those who dare to plunge further. Google has made them irrelevant. I bore easily. Like Tyler Cowen. I am more concerned with my dividends.

Imagine that. An asshole who believes in nothing but antipodean qualifiers. Is it any wonder why so many people think Tyler Cowen is a very silly man?

To me, the most valuable economists are those who write silly sentences contained within short paragraphs. Because there is the illusion of pithiness.

Sometimes I think it is enough to replace my brain with Ubuntu and have some hacker control my every critical thought. The unexamined life is well worth programming.


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