There was once, as fables often start, a nine-year-old boy whose first words were â€œthe toast is burntâ€. The parents were, of course, delighted, but curious as to why he had not spoken. The boy explained â€œEverything was alright up to now.â€
Despite rumors I am not that boy, but I could have been.
My point is for my own work (or the work of others) noting what is in error is progress toward a better understanding of whatever is under discussion. But I will try not to neglect showing appreciation for what is right.
Some comments (in Burnt toast mode)
On efficiency: Economists talk about efficiency a lot and often act as if “efficiency” is a self-evident and value-free concept in contrast with things determined by personal likes, etc. A problem I use on the first day of econ principles courses illustrates the point
Two Auto Engines A and B such that
Auto Engine A gets 17.3 miles per gallon, Auto Engine B gets 4.7 miles per gallon
Auto Engine A gets 1.4 horsepower per cubic of engine displacement and
Auto Engine B gets 5.1 horsepower per cubic of engine displacement.
The question is which engine is most efficient ? The answer is it depends upon what the goal is. Efficiency depends upon what criterion of evaluation is chosen: there is always a value judgment.
On nature/nurture: This is a long discussion which I will not attempt to even begin at this point except to say that depending what method is used and what is the basis of evidence used to answer the nature/nurture question will tend to determine where an individual comes down on this. There are competing disciplines (and so-called paradigms) which tend not to make much headway. But another time.