I read Freakonomics this week. This is a fairly entertaining
book, dealing with topics like the economics of crack dealing or baby
The Accidental Theorist
I also read The Accidental Theorist by Paul Krugman. This seems
to be just a collection of his columns from the mid 90s, so it isn’t
all that relevant today. There is some nice basic economics
background, though, and some good examples.
One thing I really didn’t get is, in his hot dog economy analogy,
why would we assume that if production increases, so will consumption?
I mean, it may, and it probably will initially — but eventually there
are only so many hot dogs you can eat. Or wear. Or make houses out
of. Not that this has any immediate bearing on what Krugman is
Another interesting statement: “… in general when the economy
becomes extremely good at doing something, that activity becomes less
rather than more important”. The implication for programmers is
immediately obvious. First, thank goodness that the general state of
programming is really bad: inefficient, bug-inducing, difficult to
schedule well, and prone to outright project failure. Second, let’s
keep it that way — or, perhaps more appropriately, let’s hope that
the problems of programming are really intractable.