Economists are from Mars, Shawn is from Venus

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SUSUPPLY

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Jan 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/11/99
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The Academy has convened in emergency session, and decided that someone who is
trying this hard to earn a coveted sci.econ Dumbassy—only awarded for truly
nincompoop posts—deserves it. Therefore the deadline for nominations is
extended.

1 The nominee in the category, "Why didn’t you say so…Duh?" is, Shawn A.
Wilson (to Grinch), for:

>What, if a general statement gets published in a book it must be perfectly
>applicable to every specific case? Not by half. You've asserted (strongly)
>that the people of New York City don't understand the implications of rent
>control because that information is costly to acquire. OK, so why do YOU
>have that information? What sources do you have that the vast majority of
>people in New York City don't have? Be specific.

That "general statement", otherwise known as a model, was from the New
Palgrave, not "a book". Grinch has that "information" (and a lot more) because
he has taken the time to read it. So the question to you, Shawn, is, Why don’t
you have that "information", isn’t there a library at UIC?

As for specific examples, pick a Grinch post at random. Remember the reading
list he gave you?

2 The nominee in the category, "Yeah, yeah, that’s it! What I meant
was….Yeah. That’s the ticket", is Shawn A Wilson, for:

>Actually, it isn't the encyclopedia that's wrong in this case, it's your
>application of what it said that is in error. Information about most things
>is scarce. Unfortunately, you take that to mean that information about ALL
>things is scarce, specifically your favorite example. I have mentioned many
>times that information on the issues of rent control is NOT scarce. My
>examples have been national media, major New York Newspapers, and New York
>City TV shows. Your responses have been to quote A) a comedian who died 50
>years ago, and B) an encyclopedia entry on information scarcity that doesn't
>address whether this particular information is actually scarce.

Let’s see, how many times has our boy been informed that information does not
equal knowledge? Will it ever dawn on him that for information to be
transformed into knowledge, (1) the information need be accurate (as the
majority of the news stories in New York over the last three or so decades
undoubtedly were not, i.e. The Times has been in favor of rent-control until
only a couple of years ago). (2) The information need be accessed (most New
Yorkers don’t read the Times, nor watch public affairs programs on TV). And
(3) those accessing the information need a certain background to understand it
(a tiny minority in the case of most economic issues).

As the old saying has it, Ideas are everywhere, but knowledge is rare.

3 In the category, "I May Not Know Much About Economics, But I Know What
I Like", the nominee is, Shawn A Wilson, for:

>Let me make
>this perfectly clear, no matter how strongly you feel otherwise, you are
>LOSING this argument.

Or as an e-mail correspondent recently remarked:

"I fear I detect signs of
imminent ‘fathersmanifestoism’.

"It's interesting that such a combination of ego, theoretical ignorance
and cognitive chaos can exist in the head of a surviving fourth-year
PhD student."

Sorry, members of the Academy serve in strict anonymity.

4 The nominee in the category, "Circular Reasoning as Raison D’Etre", is
Shawn A Wilson, for:

>I am sick and
>tired of all this. If you want to continue, then explain why people in
>Chicago understand the impact of rent control better than the people in NYC.
>

The explanation will follow (not so) shortly.

5 The nominee in the category, "Does the alligator eat the bigger number
or does the bigger number eat the alligator?", is Shawn A Wilson, for:

<<Or those that benefit [information from reliable sources being that that is
about 1.9 million people] outnumber those who are harmed [same source
demonstrating that that number is about 6.1 million].>>

No explanation needed.

6 The nominee in the category, "Oops, I was wrong, but….", is Shawn A
Wilson for:

>>Of course not. But for homeowners to get behond repealing rent control,
>>they would have to expect their property taxes to fall following repeal.
>>When any government (state, local, or federal) cuts a program, do you expect
>>YOUR taxes to fall? Or do you expect that some other way will be found to
>>spend the money?

The above is actually a double nomination, because it qualifies in Circular
Reasoning too. BTW, New Yorkers also pay sales taxes and income taxes, Shawn.

7 The nominee in the category, "Did Anyone Get the License Number of the
Truck that just Ran Over Me?", is Shawn A. Wilson for this (to Grinch):

>Actually, your story supports MY hypothesis, not yours. In my model,
>additional information will have no effect, the people already know, they
>just don't care. Newspaper editorials will be ignored. In your model,
>additional information (which is 'scarce') should have an impact. They
>don't care BECAUSE they don't know. It is your idea, not mine, that
>information economies are driving the system.

Also a double nomination, since it meets the requirements of the "That’s the
ticket" (Yeah, yeah, ADDITIONAL information) category.

8 The nominee in the category, "Whistling As You Walk Past the Graveyard
at Midnight" is Shawn A Wilson, for:

>And his [Mr. McKee’s] analysis of the what the actual effects are agrees with
my >analysis of what the effects should be. Accurate predictions are what a
good
>education is all about.
>
>Are you prepared to end this farce?

Marx said history repeats itself twice, not dozens of times, Shawn.

9 The nominee in the category, "An Answer that is Conspicuous by its
Absence" is (what a surprise) Shawn A Wilson, for ignoring this rather obvious
point of Grinch’s:

>The *major* question for Shawn is whether he realizes that as soon as
>he says the majority "doesn't care" about the subsidy it provides to
>the minority -- for *any* reason (ingnorance, or Christian charity
>towards minorites, or whatever) -- he admits one of the basic points
>of Public Choice economics that Patrick and I pointed out way back in
>this thread, and which started this whole dispute.
> Namely, minorities sytematically extract subsidies from majorities
>through politics, and that the size of government thus *rationally*
>grows beyond the limits of economic effeciency, into, as Coase says
>after a lifetime of Nobel-winning analysis, "'negative returns".
>(With the agreement of Stigler, Buchanan, Friedman... )
>
>The *rational* reason for this is just exactly as Shawn says --
>majorities "don't care" -- but while proclaiming logic, he ferociously
>fights against the logic of his own statement.
>
>The payoff to a small group of a subsidy is high per person.
>
>The cost to the much larger group is small per person.
>
>Information costs make it expensive for members of the large group to
>learn of the subsidy.
>
>The low payoff of fighting a subsidy reduces the incentive to members
>of the large group to fight it -- or learn of it.

You can now write your answer below, Shawn, if you wish to decline this
nomination:
_____________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

10 The nominee in the category, "Hysteria Overcoming the Grad Student" is,
none other than Shawn A Wilson for:

>Then let's try another tack: where did YOU learn about the issues
>surrounding rent control? You claim to know that rent control destroys
>cities, where did you learn this? Observation of New York City? Those
>observations are available to everyone in the city. TV? Newspapers?
>magazines? Radio? All available to everyone. What information is it that
>YOU have that no one else has access too? Is it because you ran a building?
>But that will only inform you of the effects of rent control on that
>building, not the whole city. If the information is so scarce as to be not
>worth acquiring by a population that it is costing 'billions', how did YOU
>come by it?
>
>
>This argument is beyond tedious at this point.

I am sure no one else has noticed THAT. Here is where we give the explanation
for nomination #4 (Circular Reasoning….).

Shawn says "…people in Chicago…" understand rent-control. Does he mean ALL
people—or just people, say, in the economics dept. of the University of
Chicago. Does Shawn think that graduate students in biology at UIC, know as
much economics as he does, just because the information is available to them?
(Yes, amused readers, I am aware of that being a poor example in his case).

Shawn asks the wrong question (as usual) when he says: "What information is it
that
YOU have that no one else has access too [sic]?"

The answer is none, of course. However it is not a matter of "having access",
[read this very slowly, Shawn], it is a matter of ***actually accessing it***
(and, what is more difficult, understanding it). As both Grinch and I have
pointed numerous times, Shawn has access to the arguments of Public Choice
Economics (again, is there a library at UIC?), but Shawn has yet to avail
himself of that information. And Shawn is a four year graduate student in
economics! Is he suggesting that the average New Yorker should know more than
he (again, stop laughing out there)? To repeat, ideas are everywhere, but
knowledge is rare.

Whether the information is scarce is beside the point, it is whether the cost
of acquiring the knowledge is greater or lesser than the benefit of having the
knowledge.

11 The nominee in the category, "Breathtaking Sophistry", is (suspense
filled pause) Shawn A Wilson, for this (to Benjamin Alarie):

>Actually, no. I came by the knowledge that rent control is a bad thing the
>usual way, through the mass media. It may have been touched upon in class
>sometime, but I don't recall it.

"Mass media"! Please class, everyone stop rolling on the floor. These are
dignified proceedings, we’re wearing tuxedos.

12 In the category, "Follow Me, Larry?", the nominee is, (yawn) Shawn A
Wilson:

>And what would a test for knowledge consist of? How about seeing if
>people's minds change when they get additional information?

[We must pause for a moment of silence (and to give Shawn room to ponder and
reflect on his probably unconscious statement that information and knowledge
are two different things)]

>We have an
>issue that may be a function of information economies (Grinch's position),
>or not (mine). Since the policies are clearly bad…

[HOLD THAT THOUGHT, Shawn]

>… if information economies
>are the driving force in this system, additional information…

[I didn’t think you’d be able to keep it together…KNOWLEDGE, NOT INFORMATION]

>…should move
>people form the pro-rent control position to the anti-rent control position.
>With me so far?

[I, like Ross Perot, am all ears]

>So we have a clear test for whether this is an information
>economy system. If it is, then TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine coverage
>of the issue should change people's minds. Agree?

[Spectacularly wrong. What is the content of all this news coverage? For
decades the mass media has favored rent-control in the most simple-minded way
(i.e. in the way the mass media needs to be in order to sell to the MASSES.]

>According to Grinch, A
>pro-rent control activist in NY stated that media coverage of the rent
>control issue did NOT change people's position on the subject. The test for
>the significance of information economy effects is thus failed and the
>hypothesis that information economies are driving the system is rejected.

Spectacularly wrong again. Go back and read the part where the pro-rent
control forces carefully and lovingly program 85 people to display their
stories to stir emotions within the electorate. Hint, they do it to confuse
people…to prevent effective knowledge in the body politic.

More importantly, as Grinch has demonstrated, it is your theory that has been
falsified, Shawn. Remember, YOU said (1) Rent control is "bad", (2) A
candidate for public office will then get elected by making the argument rent
control is bad.

The logical conclusion is that the anti-rent control candidate did not
effectively educate the electorate. The information did not transmit into
knowledge (by those who matter).

13 And unluckily for Shawn, the nominee in the category, "What Was That
Banana Peel Doing on the Floor?" is Das Wunderkind himself:

>>> How about the one Jim Blair told us of, The David Suskin
>>>Show?
>>
>>That would be the one where you missed the significance of Suskind's lawyer
>>advising him not to accept the gift of an apartment building.
>
>What on Earth are you talking about? He was advised not to accept the
>building because rent control made ownership unprofitable even at a cost of
>$1. I've never argued that rent control was a good idea, Grinch and I are
>arguing over why it's still around, given that it is such a bad idea.

Yes, how interesting. David Suskind, host of a NYC public affairs television
program did NOT KNOW the costs of rent control in his own city until he
considered it as a practical matter—where he had something tangible to lose—as
opposed to an abstract matter. A very humorous and instructive example of the
limitations of articulated rationality, and the effectiveness of prices
(signaling economics is the term, I believe) in making the relevant information
into knowledge. My hat is off to Jim Blair.

14 The nominee in the category, "It depends on what the meaning of "is"
is", again, Shawn wins for:

>>>Ah, so you're acknowledging that ignorance, stupidity, and irrationality
>>>have nothing to do with it. I think we're done.
>>
>>Okay, who switched Lauchlan's address with Shawn's?
>>
>>Again, I'm awed.
>>
>>Didn't you just get through telling me you knew that, " ignorance,
>stupidity,
>>and irrationality" are three different things?
>
>Yes. What exactly is your problem?

That a PhD candidate doesn’t understand the difference between "and" and "or".

15 The nominee in the category, "It Doesn’t Matter if 2 +2 Doesn’t Equal
5, What Matters is How I Feel About Myself", can be none other than Shawn A.
Wilson for:

>You've been awfully dim lately, let me try to explain: The current state of
>the art in public choice theory is using the concepts behind consumer choice
>and applying them to public choice. My professors are happy with it, I like
>it, all is well with the world. Now you come along, having read one or two
>books that are at least several years behind the state of the art, and
>reject the application because it's different from what you're familiar
>with. Well, your opinion on such matters should carry exactly how much
>weight compared to the opinions of professionals in the field? How much
>weight should I place on your opinion, given that the opinions of my
>professors are in direct opposition?

Aren’t you forgetting about (your nomination in category #2) this statement of
yours, "Actually, it isn't the encyclopedia that's wrong in this case, it's
your application of what it said that is in error.".?

So which is it, Shawn? One position, and only one, per issue.

16 The nominee in the category, "Opening Your Big Mouth Before Reading the
Entire Question", is old-reliable himself, for:

>>That's not what happens in a voting booth, not even close. What are you
>>getting in exchange for your vote?
>
>Funny, you count yourself as familiar with the field, but you can't even
>answer a simple question like that. Let me do it for you: in exchange for
>my vote, I am getting a policy maker who will support those policies that I
>prefer (or at least come closer than the other guy).

>>
>> Especially if your candidate loses? And
>>whose assets are being exchanged for whose benefits? Voluntarily?
>
>The asset of my vote is being exchanged for the service of supporting the
>policies I prefer. Was that too hard for you to understand?

I think we’ll add an Oak Leaf Cluster to this one (for that last sentence).

Like I said, you’re getting nothing in exchange (there isn’t even AN exchange).
Especially if your candidate loses. One would think that a four year PhD
candidate would have some grasp of the meaning of the word asset. Hint, if it
is yours, can you sell it to me?

Not to mention that even if your candidate wins, he may be lying about what
policies he will pursue—you have heard of Bill Clinton?--and you may agree with
some of his policies and disagree with others. What was that you said about
"state of the art"?

As H. L. Mencken put it, "Democracy is the political philosophy that the people
know what they want, and deserve to get it….Good and hard.

17 The nominee in the category, "General All-Around Stupidity, Grad
Student Division" can be no one but Shawn A. Wilson for this exchange with me:

Me:
>>Only minisculely, compared to market forces. Do you think it is "LAWS"
>that
>>made Nordstrom's reputation?

Shawn:
>Your ignorance is showing again. Or can't you explain why used cars should
>be an exception to your hypothesis? Why not new cars? Why not computers?

[I had explained it, of course]

>> There are
>>>no market forces that require it.

Me:
>>"Require"? We're talking about incentives, Shawn.

Shawn:
>> In fact, there are difficult to fake
>>>symbols of honesty that are ubiquious in the market place BECAUSE of the
>>>threat of dishonesty.

Me:
>>That is an indecipherable sentence.

Shawn:
>To you, because you lack the education necessary to understand it. Which
>wouldn't be a problem, but you keep mocking me for having it.
>
>
>>> Wanna know where money-back guarantees and warantees
>>>came from?

Me:
>>The stork brings them?

Shawn:
>No.
>>
>> Lavish bank buildings? Celebrity endorsements? Consumer
>>>magazines?

Me (quoting Shawn):
>>"LAWS"?

Shawn:
>No. All of the above exist BECAUSE there are market forces that encourage
>people to lie and cheat.

Okay class, stop the smirking. Let’s show proper respect for the educated man
in our presence. To recap, Shawn tells us:

A. Market forces don’t provide incentives for honesty.
B. "LAWS" do that.
C. No, it isn’t "LAWS" (or the stork) responsible for guarantees and
endorsements.
D. It is…well…I guess…market forces for honesty overwhelming those for
dishonesty!

The nominations are hereby closed. Nothing can top this last example of the
value of a UIC education.

In fact, we may have to recast the statuettes in the likeness of Shawn A.
Wilson. Somehow Professor (the self-described Expert on Everything) Irwin
Corey seems inadequate. All he was capable of were statements like, "If we
don’t change direction soon, we’ll get to where we’re going.". Next to Shawn,
that’s nothing. I should forward Shawn's name to Thomas Pynchon, now that
Corey is dead.

Though one of the good Professor's ripostes to a heckler, might have some
applicability, "If your IQ ever gets to 70, sell!".

SHAWNIES

SHAWNIES

Yeah, I like the sound of it. Turn on the searchlights, bring on the
limousines and the babes in low-cut dresses. The big night has arrived.

Patrick


Shawn A. Wilson

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Jan 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/12/99
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SUSUPPLY wrote in message <19990111143013...@ng08.aol.com>...

>
The Academy has convened in emergency session, and decided that someone who
is
>trying this hard to earn a coveted sci.econ Dumbassy—only awarded for truly
>nincompoop posts—deserves it. Therefore the deadline for nominations is
>extended.

And while you were busy thinking up nasty things to say about him, the man
whose abilities in the area you've gone to considerable effort to denigrate
has WON the discussion. It has been rather decisively shown that rent
control is NOT an information economy system. Imagine the odds of a
professional with years of experience in the field defeating an amateur who
read a book. Outside of hollywood, the odds would be about unity. You've
been watching too many movies.

>>3 In the category, "I May Not Know Much About Economics, But I Know What
>I Like", the nominee is, Shawn A Wilson, for:
>
>>Let me make
>>this perfectly clear, no matter how strongly you feel otherwise, you are
>>LOSING this argument.
>
>Or as an e-mail correspondent recently remarked:
>
>"I fear I detect signs of
>imminent ‘fathersmanifestoism’.
>
>"It's interesting that such a combination of ego, theoretical ignorance
>and cognitive chaos can exist in the head of a surviving fourth-year
>PhD student."

It REALLY surprising that you thought you could do this analysis BETTER than
said fourth-year grad student. Why don't you go hand your head in the
corner with Grinch. Oh, and I want an apology for all the crap you've said
about me, and a public admission that you were wrong.

SUSUPPLY

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Jan 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/12/99
to
>And while you were busy thinking up nasty things to say about him, the man
>whose abilities in the area you've gone to considerable effort to denigrate
>has WON the discussion.

That would be on whose authority, Shawn?

> It has been rather decisively shown that rent
>control is NOT an information economy system.

I've tried hard to keep up with the discussion, but damn! Missed that one.

> Imagine the odds of a
>professional with years of experience in the field defeating an amateur who
>read a book. Outside of hollywood, the odds would be about unity. You've
>been watching too many movies.

Pretty embarrassing for you isn't it? But you do remember saying that the
usual way to learn about rent control is through the mass media, don't you?
Heck, you've even been nominated for an Academy Award (aka Shawnie) for it!

>>>3 In the category, "I May Not Know Much About Economics, But I Know What
>>I Like", the nominee is, Shawn A Wilson, for:
>>
>>>Let me make
>>>this perfectly clear, no matter how strongly you feel otherwise, you are
>>>LOSING this argument.
>>
>>Or as an e-mail correspondent recently remarked:
>>
>>"I fear I detect signs of
>>imminent ‘fathersmanifestoism’.
>>
>>"It's interesting that such a combination of ego, theoretical ignorance
>>and cognitive chaos can exist in the head of a surviving fourth-year
>>PhD student."
>
>It REALLY surprising that you thought you could do this analysis BETTER than
>said fourth-year grad student.

You have a genius for demonstrating MY points.

> Why don't you go hand your head in the
>corner with Grinch.

Isn't that a little mild for such serious crimes?

Oh, and I want an apology for all the crap you've said
>about me, and a public admission that you were wrong.

This is no way to butter up the Academy, pal. Learn some political skills.
Look how long it took John Wayne to be recognized.

However, I will take the advice of the learned gentleman from Chicago, and take
as concessions of defeat his ignoring 16 of the 17 nominations.

Patrick

Benjamin Alarie

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Jan 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/12/99
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On Tue, 12 Jan 1999 06:34:55 -0600, "Shawn A. Wilson"
<swi...@uic.edu> wrote:


>And while you were busy thinking up nasty things to say about him, the man
>whose abilities in the area you've gone to considerable effort to denigrate

>has WON the discussion. It has been rather decisively shown that rent
>control is NOT an information economy system. Imagine the odds of a


>professional with years of experience in the field defeating an amateur who
>read a book. Outside of hollywood, the odds would be about unity. You've
>been watching too many movies.

Your arrogance, sir, is astounding.

Shawn A. Wilson

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Jan 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/12/99
to

SUSUPPLY wrote in message <19990112093836...@ng-fr1.aol.com>...

>>And while you were busy thinking up nasty things to say about him, the man
>>whose abilities in the area you've gone to considerable effort to
denigrate
>>has WON the discussion.
>
>That would be on whose authority, Shawn?

Well, in that we're up to four or five important points that you've been
unable to respond to, yours.


>> It has been rather decisively shown that rent
>>control is NOT an information economy system.
>

>I've tried hard to keep up with the discussion, but damn! Missed that one.

I can repost it if you want, I keep copies of everything I write. The
particulars revolved around an incident Grinch brought up, where a rent
control advocate pointed out that anti-rent control editorials in newspapers
didn't affect people's positions on the subject. Grinch hypothesized that
the persistance of rent control was due to information economies. In such
an environment newspaper editorials should change people's positions, they
are additional information after all. Additional information ==> no change
in opinions ==> the initial information was sufficient ==> the system is not
being driven by information economies. QED.

>> Imagine the odds of a
>>professional with years of experience in the field defeating an amateur
who
>>read a book. Outside of hollywood, the odds would be about unity. You've
>>been watching too many movies.
>

>Pretty embarrassing for you isn't it?

Nope, I managed to win this one. Now the challenge is whether your stubborn
ignorance can be overcome to the point where you'll realize what's happened.
I doubt it, you don't even seem to fully understand what the discusssion is
about.

> But you do remember saying that the
>usual way to learn about rent control is through the mass media, don't you?
>Heck, you've even been nominated for an Academy Award (aka Shawnie) for
it!

I remember asking Grinch where he got his information about rent control
from, wondering if it were the mass madia. He never responded. I took that
as an admission that he did get his information form the mass media. Things
often reported in the mass media become what is called 'common knowledge'.
If the implications of rent control are common knowledge, then ignorance
does not explain the observed behavior.

> Oh, and I want an apology for all the crap you've said
>>about me, and a public admission that you were wrong.
>
>This is no way to butter up the Academy, pal. Learn some political skills.
>Look how long it took John Wayne to be recognized.

The problem here is, I actually have the skills, but your skills are so
limited as to not be able to recognize them in others. Your value what
little knowledge you have, and when some comes along who demonstrates how
little that knowledge actually is, you lash out and attack him. See? I can
even explain your infantile behavior here.

>
>However, I will take the advice of the learned gentleman from Chicago, and
take
>as concessions of defeat his ignoring 16 of the 17 nominations.


Well, discussion with fools is pointless beyond a certain point. I made the
points I wanted too. Additional effort to respond to everything you said
would not have been worthwhile. Don't mistake that for inability to
respond.

Shawn A. Wilson

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Jan 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/12/99
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Benjamin Alarie wrote in message <369c6e7e...@news.newsguy.com>...

>On Tue, 12 Jan 1999 06:34:55 -0600, "Shawn A. Wilson"
><swi...@uic.edu> wrote:
>
>
>>And while you were busy thinking up nasty things to say about him, the man
>>whose abilities in the area you've gone to considerable effort to
denigrate
>>has WON the discussion. It has been rather decisively shown that rent
>>control is NOT an information economy system. Imagine the odds of a

>>professional with years of experience in the field defeating an amateur
who
>>read a book. Outside of hollywood, the odds would be about unity. You've
>>been watching too many movies.
>
>Your arrogance, sir, is astounding.


Is it? What of the arrogance of SUSUPPLY (if not Grinch, who can at least
participate in civil discussion) in believing that his understanding was so
superior to that of a man who had spent years studying the field that he
could freely denigrate the student? Isn't that arrogance? At worst I will
admit to lacking modesty. But where I come from, false modesty is just
another lie. I know I'm smart, and I know I'm well educated in this field.
That isn't arrogance, it's honesty.

BTW, how is it that after following this thread (as I assume you have), that
you choose to criticize me rather than SUSUPPLY, who's done nothing but act
like a child here.

SUSUPPLY

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Jan 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/13/99
to
Shawn A. Wilson must have been a Drill Instructor:

>>Your arrogance, sir, is astounding.
>
>
>Is it? What of the arrogance of SUSUPPLY (if not Grinch, who can at least
>participate in civil discussion) in believing that his understanding was so
>superior to that of a man who had spent years studying the field that he
>could freely denigrate the student? Isn't that arrogance? At worst I will
>admit to lacking modesty. But where I come from, false modesty is just
>another lie. I know I'm smart, and I know I'm well educated in this field.
>That isn't arrogance, it's honesty.

Actually it's self-esteem run amok, Sir!

>
>BTW, how is it that after following this thread (as I assume you have), that
>you choose to criticize me rather than SUSUPPLY, who's done nothing but act
>like a child here.
>

Yeah, what do you think this America? (I think I feel another demand for a
public apology coming on.)

Chasna1

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Jan 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/13/99
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>Economists are from Mars, Shawn is from Venus

Shouldn't the first part read "Men are from Mars"?

Benjamin Alarie

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Jan 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/13/99
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On Tue, 12 Jan 1999 16:24:12 -0600, "Shawn A. Wilson"
<swi...@uic.edu> wrote:

>>Your arrogance, sir, is astounding.
>
>
>Is it? What of the arrogance of SUSUPPLY (if not Grinch, who can at least
>participate in civil discussion) in believing that his understanding was so
>superior to that of a man who had spent years studying the field that he
>could freely denigrate the student? Isn't that arrogance? At worst I will
>admit to lacking modesty. But where I come from, false modesty is just
>another lie. I know I'm smart, and I know I'm well educated in this field.
>That isn't arrogance, it's honesty.

Just because someone has years of experience in a certain field does
not mean that they cannot be wrong ,or at least not completely
correct. You do not doubt your own intelligence, and I do not doubt
the intelligence of SUSUPPLY and Grinch. What it boils down to is
acknowledging the fact that each party is potentially at least partly
correct. It is very implausible that you are correct to the exclusion
of Grinch and SUSUPPLY (and me?) or vice-versa.

I believe that a dose of honest scepticism of any potential
explanation is the intellectually prudent course of action. An open
mind and intellectual modesty are very valuable tools in needling out
the truth under any circumstance. To go completely overboard in favor
of one explanation is simply arrogant.

>BTW, how is it that after following this thread (as I assume you have), that
>you choose to criticize me rather than SUSUPPLY, who's done nothing but act
>like a child here.

Well, to be honest, my impression has been (up to now) that you had
been acting very defensively, and yet at the same time,aggressively
in the discussion. I'm not exactly sure how far along the thread I
picked it up, but at the point I did, Grinch and SUSUPPLY were making
far better arguments that went unrefuted by you -- only to be insulted
and demeaned in your responses.

My impression is based on several posts, but I do not think that I
caught the entire discussion. I'm going to visit dejanews to get the
whole picture. As of now, it appears that you have changed your
defensive tune a little and it is quite refreshing vis-a-vis your
recent defensive attacks...

C Post

unread,
Jan 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/13/99
to
SUSUPPLY wrote:

... a brilliant skewering of one who richly deserved it. Patrick, you
must have put a lot of effort into going over all those old posts of
Shawn's -- certainly not a task anyone would relish -- and I want you to
know the end result was one of the funniest and most effective things I
have ever read on Usenet. Thank you and congratulations. I only hope
others are motivated enough to read every word of it, as I did...

-- ro...@not.this.partistar.ca

Shawn A. Wilson

unread,
Jan 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/13/99
to

Benjamin Alarie wrote in message <369be18c...@news.newsguy.com>...

>On Tue, 12 Jan 1999 16:24:12 -0600, "Shawn A. Wilson"
><swi...@uic.edu> wrote:
>
>>>Your arrogance, sir, is astounding.
>>
>>
>>Is it? What of the arrogance of SUSUPPLY (if not Grinch, who can at least
>>participate in civil discussion) in believing that his understanding was
so
>>superior to that of a man who had spent years studying the field that he
>>could freely denigrate the student? Isn't that arrogance? At worst I
will
>>admit to lacking modesty. But where I come from, false modesty is just
>>another lie. I know I'm smart, and I know I'm well educated in this
field.
>>That isn't arrogance, it's honesty.
>
>Just because someone has years of experience in a certain field does
>not mean that they cannot be wrong ,or at least not completely
>correct.

No, it doesn't. But when the question is between an experienced
professional and an inexperienced amateur, the smart money is always on it
being the professional who is right.


> You do not doubt your own intelligence, and I do not doubt
>the intelligence of SUSUPPLY and Grinch.

Well, I do. But, aside from that, Grinch's position is that he doubts the
intelligence of everyone else in the world. I assume people are smart and
knowledgeable until I am given reason to believe otherwise. Like I said
before, I have associated with both people considered the intellectual dregs
and intellectual elite. I didn't see all that much difference.

> What it boils down to is
>acknowledging the fact that each party is potentially at least partly
>correct.

Grinch is not partly correct. He is just dead wrong.

> It is very implausible that you are correct to the exclusion
>of Grinch and SUSUPPLY (and me?) or vice-versa.

And you find Grinch's position that the vast majority of New Yorker's have
no idea how rent control affects their city, despite the considerable mass
media attention it gets there, to be plausible?


>I believe that a dose of honest scepticism of any potential
>explanation is the intellectually prudent course of action. An open
>mind and intellectual modesty are very valuable tools in needling out
>the truth under any circumstance. To go completely overboard in favor
>of one explanation is simply arrogant.

Or the result of superior knowledge of the field. Should physicians give
credence to the four humours theory of health? Or should they go overboard
for the germ theory of disease?

>>BTW, how is it that after following this thread (as I assume you have),
that
>>you choose to criticize me rather than SUSUPPLY, who's done nothing but
act
>>like a child here.
>
>Well, to be honest, my impression has been (up to now) that you had
>been acting very defensively, and yet at the same time,aggressively
>in the discussion.

I have been defensive because I have been attacked. I have responded
aggressively to those attacks. I repond in kind to the people around me.

> I'm not exactly sure how far along the thread I
>picked it up, but at the point I did, Grinch and SUSUPPLY were making
>far better arguments that went unrefuted by you -- only to be insulted
>and demeaned in your responses.

Well, I didn't start the process.

SUSUPPLY

unread,
Jan 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/13/99
to
Shawn A. Wilson hones his skill of contradicting himself:

>But when the question is between an experienced
>professional and an inexperienced amateur, the smart money is always on it
>being the professional who is right.

[snip]

> Like I said
>before, I have associated with both people considered the intellectual dregs
>and intellectual elite. I didn't see all that much difference.
>

How do you decide what you believe at any random moment, Shawn, by flipping a
coin?

Patrick


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