Monday 24 October 2011

A mild superpower

Matt Nolan's convincing demonstration of the superiority of economists over Jedi reminded me of Scott Adams's useful description of economics:
When you have a working knowledge of economics, it’s like having a mild super power. For example, I use my knowledge of economics to avoid speeding tickets. I assume the local law enforcement agencies have limited funding and can’t be everywhere at the same time. That tells me, fairly reliably, when I can speed without detection and when I can’t.
I think his analysis there misses the important technological innovation that comes with speed cameras: the road to the airport is exactly where I'd put speed cameras rather than actual police: they extract revenues from folks who are scared of missing their flights but without generating the kind of political backlash that might come from making too many people miss their flights. I hope Scott Adams has a decent radar detector and a speed camera overlay on his GPS.

It's often safe to speed, and failing to speed can also get you pulled over.

Back to Scott Adams:
My reason for majoring in economics in college was to understand how the world works, so I would be more equipped to navigate in it. I think it was a good choice. Has your college major given you any mild super powers?
This ought to be front and centre on our Economics Department enrolment handbook. Take economics, get a mild superpower. Dilbert says so, so it must be true (Jedi mind trick hand wave...).

No comments:

Post a Comment