John Maynard Keynes once wrote:
The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again. (emphasis added)

Once, a few years several months ago, I was in some seminar and the Simon-Ehrlich wager came up. This was a bet about scarcity of commodity metals (really as a proxy for general resource scarcity due to greatly expanding population). Ehrlich (who believed the prices would go up) lost, and badly.(Edited for subtraction error)

My reply was, of course, that while the term of the wager specified a 10-year period, time might still tell, and Simon had already "entered the long run."

The economist who was presenting snort-laughed and said something like "you must be an economist".

"Goodness, no," I replied.

This would have been in May of 2009. Google says that would have been the first time for that metaphor to appear on the internet... had I actually blogged it. Oops!


susan said...

Once, a few years ago...

...This would have been in May of 2009.

Oh my god, did you write this post FROM THE FUTURE?!


Anonymous said...

He is a physamacist, after all.

Married to an English major.

Anonymous said...

No, no, that's not right at all! Married to a chemistry major!

susan said...


Anonymous said...

No, I am married to an English major.

Anonymous said...

You see, your last comment was not clearly a "sign-off."