Pournelle (The decline and fall of Byte)

From: David_A._Vandenbroucke_at_hud.gov <(David_A._Vandenbroucke_at_hud.gov)>
Date: Wed May 7 07:47:17 1997

>I have read many letters here and I hope this is NOT what we are going
>to continually hear - Microsoft reps patting themselves on the back
>because they and the company can NEVER BE WRONG. Let's keep company
>reps out if they only want to glorify the company (that basically has
>the computer world in turmoil with poor quality non-innovative

 I don't work for Microsoft, but I have had a similar run-in with Dr.
 Pournelle. I am a professional economist (a "Dr." too, as it happens), and
 in some discussion forum or other on GEnie I once quoted Milton Friedman's
 well-known (among economists) remark that "we're all Keynesians now." If you
 know the way that macroeconomic theory has converged over the past few
 decades, the remark makes perfect sense and doesn't detract from Friedman's
 status as the leader of the believers in the unfettered market. However,
 Pournelle was on me like a ton of bricks. He clearly _didn't_ understand
 what Keynesian theory was all about and thought that it just stood for
 government policies that he didn't like. He didn't care about references,
 because he "knew" that Friedman just _couldn't_ have said that, sort of like
 those guys who didn't bother to look into Galileo's telescope because they
 _knew_ the sun couldn't have spots. Eventually I just gave up on the
 conversation, and I suppose Pournelle thinks that he won the argument.

Received on Wed May 07 1997 - 07:47:17 BST

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