September 24th, 2008


nobody knows anything

1. Thomas Hobbes: “In the nature of man we find three principal causes of quarrel: first, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory.”
2. Only artists and scientists compete for timeless glory. Only soldiers and statesmen compete for worldly glory. To the extent that they are exempted from these vocations, the world’s finest economists belong with everybody else, striving to lessen their diffidence by competing for lucre.
3. If their knowledge of economics enabled them to dope out the trends of supply and demand one step ahead of hoi polloi, we would see the world’s finest economists consistently prevail in this competition.
4. That has not been the case.
5. William Goldman: “Nobody knows anything.