How awesome is this? Paul Krugman writing about poetry! Not to digress, but an acquaintance of mine met him at a science fiction convention a few years and he admitted his great love of Isaac Asimov. Asimov spoke at my elementary school when I was kid. I mean, he didn’t speak to me class. The school was just the venue. My mother went. She said he came across as sweet, but a little too idealistic and a teensy bit wedded to traditional gender roles. But I digress. Let me digress some more. I was too young to go, but still disappointed, because, at the time, I was just beginning to raid my mother’s vast collection of Asmiov pulps. Everything from his terrible, early Lucky Starr novels to The End of Eternity (which is my personal favorite, if it’s the one I’m thinking of, which is the one where a mushroom cloud in a 1930s classified ad is the key to pinpointing where the lady has gone in time). But actually, Krugman only briefly touches on poetry and admits he doesn’t read it. May I humbly suggest something like The Displaced of Capital as being appropriate for an economist? It also relates to the link about, about the rise of young Marxist thinkers. Which I think is awesome. I am not now nor have I ever really been a Marxist (though I played at being one in high school and a bit in college, but I’m probably more like a Vermont Democrat and ,really, I always have been), but it’s good to see his ideas being debated again. Not only was he genius, but we need a counterbalance to the way blowhards like Mies and Hayek have pulled the conversation so bloody far to the extreme right. I’m not going to talk about Rand. She’s not a philosopher. And she’s only a novelist in the broadest sense that her books have words in them and things said are ascribed to people with names that we are supposed to believe are ‘characters’ but are only characters in the sense that the Grimlock, the leader of Dinobots, from the Transformers cartoons I watched in the early and mid eighties, was a three dimensional character. Hint: he wasn’t, because it was a show for nine year old boys. In Rand’s defense, novels like Atlas Shrugged are aimed squarely at slightly sensitive sixteen year old boys, who feel that maybe they are slightly smarter than their peers and know they are definitely less physical capable and are kind of hoping that their hoped for slightly more braininess will one day lead them a chosen land and here’s this Rand person telling them, that, heck yeah! You’ll go to a cool valley in Colorado and be super awesome and women will totally want to make sexy time with you! That’s totally awesome, right? Except then you turn seventeen and if you have any self awareness at all, you start to question this paradigm. You hear that, Paul Ryan? You lack the self awareness of a seventeen year boy. Yeah. I said it. So, in conclusion: educated people should read more poetry and should not read Ayn Rand after their seventeenth birthday.