12 May 2015

Physicists vs. Economists

Economics, Noah Smith 11 Comments

I suggested that Noah Smith must be trolling when he argues that the public takes economists more seriously than physicists. Noah retorted in the comments: “I ain’t trollin’! People think physicists are smart, but could a physicist write a book about where to get lunch and get taken seriously?”

Now I appreciate a jab at Tyler Cowen as much as the next guy, but this is really too much. Let me speak on behalf of the physicists:

PHYSICISTS: Yes Noah, you guys write your books on finding lunch, or how to make a marriage last, and some people will buy them. But we tell the public there is no God and it’s big news. Oh, by the way. When we physicists destroy countries…it’s on purpose.

11 Responses to “Physicists vs. Economists”

  1. Noah Smith, Primarch of the Local Group says:

    Isn’t it biologists who are always telling people there’s no God? And who believes them anyway?

    Also, if nukes are ever used to divert a doomsday asteroid and prevent the extinction of the human species, I expect you to issue a full apology to physicists.

    • aby says:

      I THINK he meant that economists destroy countries by accident because they do not know what they are talking about.

    • Grane Peer says:

      That wouldn’t be the physicists doing, it would be a rag tag bunch of oil riggers who save the day!

  2. Josiah says:

    I know which side Bob is on here.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Yep. Feynman’s lockpicking is more productive than NGDP targeting.

      • Noah Smith says:

        Feynman’s lockpicking is more productive than NGDP targeting.

        LOL. And yet, can’t be proven wrong! 🙂

        Bob, thought I appreciate your trolling of me in a professional sort of way, I ADORE your trolling of Sumner with a heartfelt passion.

  3. Major.Freedom says:

    What might happen when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force:


  4. Tel says:

    Oh, by the way. When we physicists destroy countries…it’s on purpose.

    Bob, you miss the obvious here. When physicists get paid to deliberately destroy countries… they hardly pocket any of the loot, and can’t even think of a few plausible excuses to divert the blame.

    Look! There go some animal spirits.

  5. Matt M says:

    The general public takes famous people seriously, and for various reasons, right now there are more famous economists than famous physicists.

    Neil Degrasse Tyson could write a book on how to properly prepare an egg salad sandwich and it would sell millions of copies I’m sure.

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