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January 5, 2003

In further evidence of the conquest of the world by the social customs and artistic forms of science fiction fandom, J. Bradford De Long posts a what is recognizably a fanzine convention report about the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.
“There! By mixing my labor with this table and these chairs, I have appropriated them out of the Lockeian state of nature and have made the right to sit at them for the next two hours my private property!” “Throwing your sportcoat on a table is mixing your labor with it?” “Don’t fight with me, go fight with John Locke.” “He’s dead. And I thought items in the state of nature were things like trees…soil…animals to be domesticated…not tables and chairs made in the Shenzhou Special Economic Zone.” “I don’t inquire into how they got into the state of nature, I just observe that the right to sit at them for the next two hours was in the state of nature, and that I have just appropriated it.” “Well, now that you have Locked in our seats, I had better see if I can find someone to sell us drinks. Oh. Isn’t there something about ‘as much and as good’ left for others, and wasn’t this the last free table?” “You seem to think that I am using Lockeian doctrines as part of a serious philosophical argument to justify our monopolizing this table. I’m not. I’m using it as an ideology—as a plausible but ultimately specious justification that gives us the right to ignore the glowers of others standing around, others who clearly wish we would get up and leave so that they can sit down here instead.”
[07:45 PM]
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Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on In further evidence:

Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2003, 07:53 PM:

Yes, the links are close. Do remember that Paul Krugman got into the economist business because his preferred job--Research Analyst II at the Second Foundation--was not open...

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2003, 03:01 PM:

It's a conspiracy isn't it? I've been seeing Mr DeLong quoted in quite a few blogs I frequent, but have avoided looking because, well, it's *economics*. But the conrep was *so* funny I may have to add him to my vist regularly list.

I'm spending way to much time reading blogs and I'm starting to itch for one of my own. It's a conspiracy that's what it is.


Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2003, 03:09 PM:

Gracious. All of the Hard-Rocking Economists on Electrolite's newly-revised sidebar are eminently worth reading, and all of them write lots about subjects other than economic minutiae.

(One of them isn't really a weblog, just a link to Paul Krugman's personal web site, but it seemed worth including since Krugman drives so much weblog conversation. And Krugman does add new material to his website all the time, which by me is Close Enough For Jazz.)

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2003, 07:36 PM:

Uh, you missed my slight undertone of irony there. Maybe it was too slight. Or maybe we're just irony impaired Americans. I gotta have *some* excuse for keeping the blog reading down to a couple hours/day or I'll get even less done than I do now. (Although we've now had 3 sunny days in a row in Seattle in January. I feel boundless energy surging through my veins. It's possible I'm drunk on seritonin.)


Chip Hitchcock ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2003, 03:04 PM:

Definitely fannish -- especially the economist who wondered about the absence of food service. But he was making a basic mistake: assuming purchases were made by a knowledgeable public. I suspect professional meetings are worse off than conventions in this regard, in that the work is often farmed out to specialists or even contractors -- so the end-user doesn't know who was responsible for the problem and can't make a more informed choice (when he has a choice) next time.