Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A summation...

...of how to think about serious matters like macroeconomics.

From Fitzhugh's "In Defense of Slavery" (yes, good passages can come from bad premises)

The reader will excuse us for so often introducing the thoughts and words of others. We do so not only for the sake of their authority, but because they express our own thoughts better than we can express them ourselves. In truth, we deal out our thoughts, facts and arguments in that irregular and desultory way in which we acquired them. We are no regular built scholar--have pursued no "royal road to mathematics," nor to anything else. We have, by observation and desultory reading, picked up our information by the wayside, and endeavored to arrange, generalize and digest it for ourselves. To learn "to forget," is almost the only thing we have labored to learn. We have been so bored through life by friends... who retain on their intellectual stomachs in gross, crude, undigested, and unassimilated form, every thing that they read, and retail and repeat it in that undigested form.... We thought once this thing was original with us, but find that Say pursued this plan in writing his Political Economy. He first read all the books he could get hold of on this subject, and then took time to forget them, before he began to write.

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