Chocolate and Gold Coins

Thursday, June 02, 2005

This Post Stinks

A couple of days ago, I found a comment on my blog by Steven D. Levitt in my post on Academic Imperialism Part II. He wrote:

“This whole exchange is blogging at its best.”

I can’t argue with him. I just wish more agreed.

I decided to add a link to his blog: Freakonomics Blog. Levitt and Dubner don’t post very often. The post that has been there all week is about car bombs in Iraq. The interesting thing about that post is the beginning where Levitt describes his father’s medical speciality: intestinal gas. Apparently he has two assistants who verify the foulness of the patient’s intestinal gas.

That’s a very bad job.

I would hope that they get a compensating wage differential. But markets also tend to select the kind of people for a job that really don’t care too much for an unpleasant situation. People who don’t mind the stench that hogs produce become hog farmers. The people who don’t mind looking into a dirty commode become maids. And some people might not mind intestinal gas very much.

This reminds me of a story about a good friend of mine: Jim, (not his real name). Jim was and probably still is the world’s most gullible person. One day he heard a friend make a rather crude analogy. This person was comparing political zealots who believe their own rhetoric to someone who sniffs his own flatulence and “believes it smells good.” A week later, Jim met his friend at a large gather and announced: “You’re right, your [flatulence] does begin smelling good after a while.” This announcement nearly killed his friend with laughter. ‘What’s so funny? Please tell me.”

Whatever happened to Jim? Hmm, does he now work for a doctor?


  • Semi-famous people are taking over the blogosphere and crowding out the little people.

    Soon the grassroots era of the blogosphere will be over.

    By Anonymous Half Sigma, at 3:49 PM  

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