The Dudes Abide

>> Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It is very easy to recognize economists when the budget season nears. They go about looking pale and sickly, heedless of all sights and sounds, except when wincing painfully at the sight of a copy of The Economic Times. It is not hard to reason why. Most economists forget all they have learned ten minutes after they get their degrees. Some do not even wait till the end of the examinations. After that, all theories propounded by them are a result of assumptions made and an imagination active. Many are the theories I myself have created on ill prepared examinations. Three of the papers easily deserve a Nobel. John Nash is a classic case of famous economists. No one but he could have created something which reads "Complementarity is the source of multiplicity in the Nash equilibrium". One requires the aid of an imagination fueled idea and a psychological disease to make up that.

The lot of an economist is a hard one. In the olden days, most people would join the Foreign legions to help them forget. With the legions having now been disbanded, they try to fall in love. Love after all, always makes you forget everything. However, most economists are a bunch of snobs, assuming (which is their business) that every other human is inferior to them intellectually and they deserve no less than Fellows from Oxford. Of course they do not get them. But economists are extremely persistent. If nothing else works, they go and take to drink. And they forget.

(N.B. If the economist is a female, she does not even need to take to drink, she takes to weight loss. That makes her forget everything, including love and foreign legions. It is an unstated general rule that female economists who take the subject seriously are fat. The fact that there are not enough female economists proves it. Who really wants to remain fat nowadays?)

But then drink brings out all that is base in man. Which is why perhaps when we got drunk, all we could do was whine about "Cournot equilibrium" and "Todaro-Harris model" and then sob in a corner.

But I digress.

(Click to enlarge)

Every man meets his Waterloo. And economists, despite all rumours, are humans. Albeit with slightly different Waterloos. While the misogynist finds the woman of his dreams, business tycoons find brothers constantly reminding them of their share in the business, politicians find unsuitable son-in-laws, economists have the budget thrust upon their unwary faces.

For in this world, there still remain a few of little faith. Judas is the name which comes to the mind as an example. Some who do not trust enough in the healing power of forgetfulness. And they keep on remembering. Then they go join newspapers as columnists. Or the "Gor-ment" as financial advisors.

It can never be a very pleasing sensation when served with your early morning coffee are the screaming headlines referring to cost push inflation. The Fates band up against you and you realize there is a family member looking down expectantly and asking you to explain the meaning of cost push inflation as opposed to other kinds of inflation. The hurriedly mumbled line defining cost push inflation as inflation pushed by cost, rather than by other, say, non cost, what do you call it, thing, is not accepted in a spirited manner and the economist goes back to face the world, a mere shadow of his former, jubilant, coffee sipping self. The Fates are a cruel lot though, once aroused by the Furies, and questions regarding the subtle difference between fiscal and revenue deficit haunts the economist's mind till he receives the next day's paper, which speaks glibly of various anti inflationary measures and waiving of farmers' loans.

However, the budget question, once admirably settled, does not raise its head again for a considerable time. No more is the economist tormented by the general, misguided public to explain something the general, misguided public happily imagines the economist knows about. The economist, what with the daily cares of the world on his shoulders and the severe concern for the income of various alcohol fermentators, gets involved in the grind again. And forgets. Time, as usual, remains the best healer. And the economists, as spelled out by this very fascinating movie called The Big Lebowski, abide.

24 scaly flippers:

Bubbles of FireWhiskey 12:12 pm, March 04, 2008  

"After that, all theories propounded are a result of assumptions made and an imagination active"

i dumped economics in class 12... sad, innit?

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? 1:43 pm, March 04, 2008  

I await one of your Budget analyses one of these days, Oh to-be-great Economist!

And yes, remove this word-check thing for Heaven's sake...or Hell's.

Amazing Greys 2:11 pm, March 05, 2008  

haha, nice one. i'm easily stumped by everything to do with the economy & finances, i even chose a line of sudy that would keep me far far away from it. :D

Doubletake, Doublethink. 8:04 pm, March 05, 2008  

well, i have a father who watches cnbc like its his life source, but i agree. at the end of the day we'd rather be the poor, misguided public. alcoholic economists or not ;)

undifferentiated 10:11 pm, March 05, 2008  

i confess i didnt understnd anythn of ths year's budget.as indian citizen i gess its nt a grt thng to own up to... :(

The Ancient Mariner 2:21 am, March 07, 2008  

And economists, despite all rumours, are humans.

at one point of time i used to have similar compassion for engineers. not anymore...they are truly moronic, barbaric savage group of people...Ecnomists are far better i guess.

speedpost 6:12 pm, March 07, 2008  
This comment has been removed by the author.
speedpost 6:14 pm, March 07, 2008  

Calvin & Hobbes Jindabad!

My father is on life-support system... Its a newage one called CNBC TV 18. And then there is moneycontrol.com.
My father also seems to think I will run his auctioneering business one day. Economists arealmost too optimistic sometimes.

ArSENik 2:54 am, March 08, 2008  

Nash was just compounding Frued's theory. Think about it. All he is saying is that you need to compliment your prospective mate enough so that he/she becomes your mate and ultimately helps you multiply, thus adding to the great aim of the human race - to keep growing on this earth.

Lol at the Calvin and Hobbes strip.

Economists talk in jargon and sob when they are drunk? Thanks for the heads up. I am never getting drunk with them after this.

The Big Lebu is an awesome movie. I don't know if I told you but I didn't shave for two months the first time I watched it. I now own the DVD.

Abhishek... inside out 1:49 pm, March 08, 2008  

you couldn't find anything else to write about?

dreamy 2:04 pm, March 08, 2008  

I know.
Happens.
All you gotta do is forget.
Or you could just stop reading the newspaper all together.

Macadamia The Nut 11:58 pm, March 11, 2008  

I hated economics in school :(
But now I know better

Sphinx 12:33 pm, March 12, 2008  

are you, in any way, related to rajiv palit?
lovely blog by the way.

Na.Su.Krishnan 1:31 pm, March 12, 2008  

I'm scared of economics, but it helped me in my continous innovation process. My managerial economic papers were challenging. Not for me, but for the evaluator. I managed to get some marks as the evaluator didn't want to forget what he have learnt for years. oops economics..Not again for me:)

inihos 3:00 pm, March 12, 2008  

Have you applied for the Nobel yet???

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? 1:23 am, March 14, 2008  

15 commsnts up! new post ??

Zii 9:10 pm, March 14, 2008  

"Many are the theories I myself have created on ill prepared examination".

We used to do that in history and
"I created history", was a popular joke.

Poojo C. 5:48 pm, March 15, 2008  

Dear Great Economist: Will you please explain what stagflation is all about?

And have you recently been introduced to the drink?

ad libber 10:10 pm, March 15, 2008  

@poojo
(sigh)
you ruined the rest of the day. Its stagnation and inflation occuring simultaneously. More than that, wiki is there. Do not destroy your knowledge by asking me. And no, not recently.

@zii
sometimes I think, its true for all subjects.

@WIAN
dara, ei to firlam

@inihos
I think i am underaged for that.

@krishnan
I wish I could say the same :(

@sphinx
related, no, unless we had a common forefather once. But I do know him. Orkut and the Palit Community.
And, thank you.

@mac
you know better? How/ Do not tell me you are an unfortunate eco person too.

@dreamy
Course I did, I have no idea what happens in this world thus.

@abhishek
The world...see...this is the opinion people have of us economists.

@arsenik
Someone once told me The Big L is like the male version of a chick flick. That was when I started questioning my own sexuality. I should be more careful about movie choices.
And economists, when drunk, also analyze porn scientifically. But thats a different story.

@speedpost
Your father is an economist? Tell him I sympathize. And that its useless to pretend anymore.

@ancient mariner
since we earn even lesser than engineers, noup.

@undifferentiated
As an indian citizen and an economist, I proudly proclaim I never understood the budget.

@doubletake
Fathers are such a sad lot. Mine spends all his time newspaper hopping. How I want to pat his back and tell him its all going to be better someday.

@amazing greys
lucky woman (not so very mildly jealous)

@WIAN
is it removed now? I forgot to check whether I had removed it?

@bubbles
(poker faced) dashed tragic

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? 3:07 pm, March 16, 2008  

yesh yesh.
wordk chk uthey gechhe.

~Moo-lah Buz!nezzz~ 7:55 am, March 18, 2008  

Im not very well versed with economics but Ive always had the idea that economists loved their subject!!

new age scheherazade 5:28 pm, March 20, 2008  

haha...my cousin's the same. she just refuses to discuss the budget with us for a fortnight before and after.
she says it's because we won't understand, but now I know better. :)

the girl with a zillion namesakes 8:31 pm, March 22, 2008  

ignorance is bliss
dont read the papers
on second thoughts read the paper but stcik to the comics section

Standbymind 12:35 pm, March 28, 2008  

:) Nice one!!!

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