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[To Entertain] Connecting some economic dots thru a French joke?

Okay, this is definitely a nerdy joke (*) and a somehow far fetched one at this. Bear with me.

It's about student engineers from three of our "prestigious" French engineering schools.

The engineers school #1 produces know a lot but are poor craftsmen.
The engineers school #2 produces know almost as much as school #1 but are also poor craftsmen.
The engineers school #3 produces know even less than school #2, but have unmatched craftsmanship skills.

One student per school is picked up. Each student has to design and to lead the construction of a bridge.

For the student of school #1, once built the bridge collapses immediately, but the student knows why and brags about how smart he/she is.
For the student of school #2, the bridge collapses immediately, but the student has no clues why, and stays stuck like a deer in the headlights.
For the student of school #3, the bridge doesn't collapse, actually proves itself surprisingly robust long thereafter, but the student doesn't really know why... and just doesn't care.

As I don't want to offend anyone, I would certainly not try to make any parallel with prestigious American universities ;)

Now, don't take it too seriously of course, but I found it amusing to make the parallel with the Austrian school of economics we prefer vs. other "mainstream" ones that Ron Paul's opponents take for granted in their usefulness.

I like to think of school #1 as being (maybe! speculation! spoiler alert! or... maybe not! ;) the metaphor of ... Neo-Keynesianism.

I like to think of school #2 as being the metaphor of failing socialist theories in denial of the reality of what humans motives, aspirations, and hopes can be.

Finally, I really like to think of school #3 as being the metaphor of the more humble, more pragmatic Austrian school of economics, which puts more value in the qualitative dimensions of the economy rather than its quantitative ones.

Thoughts?

(*) which has been around for more than a century in the French university level public education system :

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadzarts#Anecdotes

P.S. Credit to my wife who had me recall about this joke of my student years, after playing with her new silly Android App! Tsk tsk

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Cyril's picture

Remember it's a really loosely-reused joke before anything else!

Meh.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Not bad

But in all seriousness, the Keynesians are buffoonish ignoramus know-it-alls who THINK they are smart, but are ALWAYS wrong.

The Austrians are smart enough to admit that their theory cannot time markets, but is otherwise ALWAYS right, because it is based on the motivations of individuals (which is the undeniable reality), rather than on the fictional "animal spirit" of the collective herd.

oh, I get it

Austrians are ignorant! LOL! Good one.

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What is begun in anger, ends in shame.

Cyril's picture

Nah, that's not what I wanted to convey...

Rather :

Austrians are willing to know as much as they feel they need to, of a domain they know is extremely complex and unlikely to be completely solvable by purely theoretical means, ever.

(That's what the original French joke's direction itself is about, too.)

So, the craftmanship skills is the implied metaphor of Austrians' Liberty-driven free-markets I had in mind, there.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius