Sunday, December 30, 2007

Height of idiocy, really

An economics professor argues that on the basis of economic logic and cost-benefit relationships alone, virus writers are more worthy of the capital punishment than murderers. Towards the end of the article, he accepts that some of the assumptions in his back-of-the-envelope calculations may be overly simplistic and incorrect, but defends himself saying this.

"But this essential point remains: Governments exist largely to supply protections that, for one reason or another, we can't purchase in the marketplace. Those governments perform best when they supply the protections we value most. We can measure their performance only if we are willing to calculate costs and benefits and to respect what our calculations tell us, even when it's counterintuitive. Any policymaker who won't do this kind of arithmetic is fundamentally unserious about policy."

There are multiple arguments for attaching and not attaching a cost to a human life. That is not what I am talking about here. I have only a couple of observations

1) Why is this man so happy about his ability to add and multiply numbers? Seriously,
everytime I read one of these ' lets do the math' rants I am left wondering about the sanity of the person in question. Dude, unless you're talking about partial differntial equations or probability distributions, you're not talking insight ok?

2) Witness this.

"Executing the murderer means giving you the safety. Executing the vermiscripter means giving you the cash. You'd rather have the cash than the safety. Ergo, executing the vermiscripter is better policy"

I would rather have lesser number of such coloumns than either safety or cash. Does it mean that executing the author is better policy?

1 comment:

Blogger Bhaiyya said...

totally agree with u...

I dint even find the logic convincing.