The Palimpsest of Sawbones Surio

Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

Archive for June 2011

Keynesian Vs. Austrian School Rap!

with one comment

Enjoy this very slick rap video that tries explaining the philosopies behind the two opposing schools of economics: Keynes vs. Austrian school. The production values of the video is quite impressive. The actors ham it up well too. Best of all, the lyrics and the video go a long way in capturing what is the issue with Keynsian models (by using the last few years as a frame of reference) and also explains why the Keynes model is flawed. A timely video.



I had a very amused sterotype moment watching two Caucasian men play hard-core rappers. 😀 Don’t get me wrong, this video from the US version of “Whose line is it anyway” also refers to this point in an affectionate self-mocking way.



Ryan Stiles’ lyrics (tall guy wearing red shirt)

Well I’m a doctor, on the go,
And oddly enough, my name’s Doctor No.
If I could rap, it would be a sensation,
But I can’t, you see, I’m just a caucasian.
Say huh. (Wayne: Say huh, say huh, say huh.)
It’s all I can do, say hey. (Wayne: Say hey, say hey, say hey.)
Can’t rap.

Advertisements

Written by Surio

- at ....

Aesop’s fable revisited

with 3 comments

Don’t know about you, but it can be tiresome being constantly egged on to do this or that “because you’re worth it” (TM), no? If not that phrase because you don’t have TV/cable (like me ;-)) then maybe you’re hearing another refrain… that You’re not “living up to your potential” (Dark side of ER) or “so many generations before you sacrificed so much, for you to live a life like this”. OK, before you close this page in disgust, I’ll stop ;-). But you get the idea.

How did we get to this? It was a slow road, going back two generations at least. Here’s my simple take on it:

The Town mouse visits his country cousin

I hope you’ll remember Aesop’s fable of the “Town mouse and Country mouse”?:

A town mouse visits his cousin living in the country. The country mouse offers his cousin from the town, a meal of simple country foods, at which the visitor scoffs and invites the country mouse back to the city for a taste of the “fine life”. But their rich city meal is interrupted, first by a cook, then by a cat, then by dogs, followed by the Master of the house himself, which force the mice to abandon their feast every time and scurry to safety. After this, the country mouse decides to return home, preferring security to plenty.

The moral interpretations this story offers is just profound! I like the different phrasings used by many philosophers in retelling the story:

  1. “Good-bye,” said he,
    “I’m off. ”
    “You live in the lap of luxury, I can see,”
    “but you are surrounded by dangers; whereas at home
    “I can enjoy my simple dinner of roots and corn in peace.”

  2. “I’d rather gnaw a bean than be gnawed by continual fear”.

In fact, If Jacob wants to make an elevator pitch to a honcho about featuring his book (Flipkart link), that’s the story idea he needs to use, ending with: “My book talks to people like that parable about choosing ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of aprovechar‘” 😉

Brief Digression

Now, if you weren’t actually someone like Aesop (a slave) it could be said that your life was pretty peaceful in that era. In fact books like The Richest man in Babylon hark back to this sense of nostalgia in us by drawing on a life that’s gone by. But irritatingly, the book does so by juxtaposing our modern consumerist mindset and lifestyle memes into that timeframe, and offering solutions to break free.

But back to our main story:
Now did you know that Beatrix Potter of Peter Rabbit fame retold Aesop’s mice fable in the year 1918, mainly because of a need to keep up a story deadline to her publisher. Now how did her rendering go?

Timmy willie, a country mouse is accidentally carried to the city. and finds himself in a large house. He slips through a hole in the skirting board and lands in the midst of a mouse dinner party hosted by Johnny Town-mouse. Timmy is made welcome — and tries his best to fit in, but finds the noises made by the house cat and the maid frightening and the rich food difficult to digest. He returns to his country home after extending an invitation to Johnny Town-mouse. who then pays Timmy Willie a visit. He complains of the dampness and finds such things as cows and lawnmowers frightening. He returns to the city after telling Timmy country life is too quiet.

I know, you can see the roots of post-modernism in the story: I quote Jacob who defined it quite hilariously in another post:

I realize that what I am about to say could cause some misunderstandings, particularly in a would ravaged by postmodernism. A world where even facts have been reduced to opinions and all opinions are considered equally valid as long as the opinion holder — yeah, these days it’s less about what you say and more about who you are — does not show any signs of hypocrisy. To go off on a tangent, in a world with no objective values, the only way to be bad is to be internally inconsistent, that is, to be a hypocrite.

Coming from a stoic school of thought myself, an eager yound mind needs to be made to understand that

The essence of boredom is to be found in the obsessive search for novelty. Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition(*), the discovery of endless richness in subtle variations on familiar themes.

—— Mastery by Leonard

and not this wishy-washy “You can do whatever that rocks your boat, and it is equally valid because in the end, it made *you* happy”. It really gets my goat! Really! And Beatrix did a magnificient PR trick in the end of the story by stating her own preference for country living! Gaaaahhh!

(*)Note: If you think I am promoting by-rote learning, you need to hang your head in shame! I use “mindful repetition” which is galaxies ahead of “mindless repetition” (rote learning)


As to the story itself, what was the critics’ opinion? Something to the effect of: “Another volume for the Peter Rabbit bookshelf. Oh, such charming pictures and exciting letter press”…. More Gaahh!

So, Please repeat after me: NOMO POMO (Check the comments for discussion on NOMO POMO). And if you want “true” happiness, here’s an ERE credo to mindfully repeat until you finally “get it”! It’s my “gift” to you. Enjoy!


“Good-bye,” said he,
“I’m off. ”
“You live in the lap of luxury, I can see,”
“but you are surrounded by dangers; whereas at home
“I can enjoy my simple dinner of roots and corn in peace.”


Be safe and Keep well.

Written by Surio

- at ....

Guest post at “Early Retirement Extreme”

leave a comment »

Jacob Fisker (another bio) of Early Retirement Extreme fame (ERE for short) has kindly hosted the first part of my multi-part series on “The way of the ERE”. Head over to the ERE website to read it.

Guest post: ERE explained! – Part 1

Guest post: ERE explained! – Part 2

Written by Surio

- at ....