Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Don't move, anybody

Professor Sir James Mirrlees, from the University of Cambridge, will be delivering a seminar for the Department of Economics and Finance on A Theory of Inheritance Taxation.

And I thought Eng Lit was exciting.

28 comments:

wool spaniel said...

One of my courses required me to spend a year in the company of a textbook entitled "Life and Other Contingencies".

Bernhilde said...

It can't be true, Woolly?! That's the best vexed book name I've ever come across.

Many happy returns to your smallest pup, by the way. I'm sure Saturday was all types of kids' birthday party glamour?

Karen said...

Wills are such unpleasant things that the lecture might really be quite "humanist" in intent. And, I'm sure, there's an economist's poetry, just as there's an engineer's poetry, acccording to Thomas Pynchon in Gravity's Rainbow). Mathematics can be very creative at its higher levels, I'm told.

alexis said...

Mathematics is (are?) undoubtedly creative at its (their?) higher levels. Even at the mezzanine.

"Life and Other Contingencies": reminds me of my 20th birthday do. Some friends organised an al-fresco, nocturnal, on campus performance event in my honour. Some sang madrigals, some performed in verse, and my friend, Alan, recited from the opening pages of "Econometrics 1". Sheer poetry.

alexis said...

P.S. I very much like the idea of kicking off a name with "Professor Sir".

Karen said...

What wonderful friends! Was it a quadrangle affair?

alexis said...

They were and it was, but as the night wore on we were obliged by the chill to relocate into the upper foyer of the gels' loos.

TimT said...

Poetry about economics.

This iron law around the world applies:
Demand goes up at falling of supply;
But if demand goes down, then in reply
Supply will lift.
--This is the very pith
Of the Philosophy of ADAM SMITH.

TimT said...

Men who wear great coats
And hang around in parks
Quite frequently have beards
That make them look like Marx.

alexis said...

John Maynard Keynes
Was wracked with pains
When bright young beans
Misnamed him "Keens".

Karen said...

The upper level of the gels' loos! God, how I wish we had known each other better then!

TimT said...

A crazy old Austrian, Hayek,
Was economically laissez faire
Which was quite a contradictory title, really,
That people like Keynes couldn't bear,
Who in a moment of levity, dubbed it
Laissez JOLLY UNFAIR!

Karen said...

Great! All my favourites gone, so I can't write any economic poetry at all- but, Alexis, could you possibly whip me up something about the Protestant work ethic, if you've got a spare moment?

alexis said...

A merchant banker, she did sing,
With a hey nonny nonny!
Oh bring me loot and a diamond ring,
With a hey nonny nonny!
I'll invest in shares at ten per cent!
And recoup in interest what I've lent!
Oh negative gearing pays the rent!
With a hey nonny nonny!

TimT said...

Oh Post 1950s economy,
Why is it that you fill me with such bonhomie?
Yes, you truly are my mon ami,
Oh Post 1950s economy.

alexis said...

The Protestant Work Ethic, according to Max Weber

There once was a chap called Calvin,
A serious chap was he.
He couldn't be certain his soul was saved,
So he plunged into self scrutiny.
He drew up a jolly big ledger,
To weigh up redemption and sins.
He counted and fretted and worried and worked,
And here's how the ethic begins.

While Catholics are pondering vocation,
And swooning 'neath incense and bells,
The Protestant works for salvation,
He buys cheaper things than that he sells.

alexis said...

Offensive and inaccurate, that was. Sorry, Calvin. Sorry, Calvinists. Sorry, Catholics.

TimT said...

Epigram on modern day economists

David
Koch
Is full of
boch.

TimT said...

Ennui

It's such a
bore
being always
poor.

- Langston Hughes.

alexis said...

Here's where my dad would ask if you've heard about the constipated accountant? Apparently he worked it out with a pencil.

Karen said...

Oh, thank you, Alexis! I love it!

It may interest you to know that when I had Catholic scripture at my supposedly secular state school, one of the scripture teachers suggested we think of praying as being like depositing something in a bank account, but it was a collective fund, apparently, a fund upon which everyone could draw.

alexis said...

Golly. That's a little strange. In Calvinist theology, at the same time as you need to strive to be less unworthy of the salvation God's given you (although you can't be quite sure if he has), there's actually nothing you can do about it: God has decided who'll be saved and who won't since before the beginning of time, and it's only by his grace, not on account of any impressive deeds you might be reckoning up.

torshy said...

In Germany it is quite standard to use all your titles. So if you're a professor, you are Mr Professor Schmidt. If you are a woman then you are Frau Doktor (Mrs Professor/Doctor). Kinky or what?

Karen said...

Yes, a little strange, but it was a break from the heated argument over abortion or contraception Catholic scripture class usually ended up being.

Yes, I have heard that about Calvinism. I'm mostly familiar with your stock-standard Catholic guilt, so it struck me as an interesting variation.

alexis said...

Good old Germany. Three cheers for the country that invented Romanticism, Black Forest cake, and cumulative titles.

alexis said...

It's a very interesting - and quite a troubling - variation, but that's another conversation. This is the page for poetastry about economists.

wool spaniel said...

A belated hi to Bernhilde!! Isn't it a great book title? (For cunning actuarial types who are in the know, Life is an adjective in this context).

One of the memorable topics in the same course was entitled Multiple Decrement Tables: Sickness, Marriage, Etc. What a barrel of laughs that was.

The curly-haired pup had a splendid birthday and is still jumping up and down and wagging her tail with glee.

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