Thursday, January 29, 2015

Proving a Theory by Imagining It to be True

A highlight of the American Economic Association humor session, earlier this month in Boston, was a short talk by Zach Weinersmith. You may know his web cartoon, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

Weinersmith's talk is to economics what Spinal Tap is to heavy metal rock 'n' roll.

A couple of key quotes:

"I only have about five minutes, so I'm only going to propose one structural change to society." (at 1 min. 23 seconds)

"Having proven the theory both by stating it and by imagining it to be true, I want to move directly to policy implications." (at 6 min.57 seconds).

It's good, and you can watch the video here.

Full disclosure, I appeared earlier on the same bill, as Merle Hazard. I'm hoping no video surfaces of my bit. Hard to judge from the stage, but I do not think my five minutes went over too well. I had better keep my day job.