The Motives of Scientists

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Sun Oct 1 22:03:55 EST 1995



On Sun, 1 Oct 1995 meron at cars3.uchicago.edu wrote:

> >The question does not apply because, by and large, universities (at least
> >in the US) are not funded by government largesse and are instead funded by
> >the decentralized decisions of prospective students and their families. 
> >They appear to decide, in large and very well informed numbers, to
> >matriculate to universities such as Princeton whose faculties choose to
> >study irrelevancies such as Fermat's last theorem.  Hence ostensibly
> >useless pursuits indeed have market value.

Very nice exposition why we (e.g. irrelevant theoreticians,
like myself) do indeed may have a market value. Agree fully. 
Thanks for the truly lucid argument. (I mean it !).  

> 
> As P. J. O'Rourke already wrote in the "Parlament of Whores" one of 
> the great moving forces of politics is human belief that through the 
> legislative process one can get something without having to pay for it. 
> Since (as you, being a student in finance for sure know) there is no 
> such thing as a free lunch, this belief is false, but this fact won't 
> stop people from acting on it.

Here I am sorry to disagree. There IS such thing as a free lunch
and even often on a mass scale.
Ask any freeloader for the instructions.

> 
> Mati Meron			

> "When you argue with a fool,
> chances are he is doing just the same"
> 

Yes. But risk is often worth taking. And beside, do your
really care care if somebody may think you are a fool ?  
("He, the one, whose goal is the opinion of others [ about
him ], is weak"  - Leo Tolstoy).

Alex Berezin



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