Friday, June 5, 2009

A Happy Birthday Note

Facts and other stubborn things wishes to extend a warm Happy Birthday to the renowned economist, statesman, philosopher, and public intellectual John Maynard Keynes. It is probably safe to say the Keynes is second only to Adam Smith in his impact on the discipline, and even Adam Smith's contributions are better classified as synthesis of previous work and popularization, relative to the truly novel insights of Keynes.

I think Keynes would have appreciated the mission of Facts and other stubborn things. Keynes is both celebrated and derided for being a very speculative thinker. He would tinker with ideas even if he wasn't exactly sure where he fell on an issue. He felt free to muse - sometimes quite comically -about issues without cowering at the thought that some people might target and try to discredit him for those musings.

But we know that Keynes would have appreciated the work we do here, and we heartily agree with the old Cambridge don that:

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of
thoughts on the unthinking

-J.M. Keynes 15 July 1933

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