Friday, September 11, 2009


Quick Thoughts on My Trip To Seattle

So I went to dinner and now I'm back in the hotel room, where it's 8 pm local time but 10pm physiologically. I could feel myself starting to crash when I was walking back to the hotel, and I knew I wanted to get some work done tonight. What to do?

Some people would get chocolate, some would get caffeine, some might hit the gym for some quick cardio. Me, I popped into the Barnes & Noble to sign my books. That always makes me feel special and gives me the strength to continue.

Anyway, here are some quick thoughts:

* Oh my gosh, I didn't realize how long the Detroit-Seattle flight would be. Normally I would just nap, but I was in the middle seat, somebody in my vicinity kept releasing greenhouse gases from his rear, and I had slept on the previous flight so it really wasn't in me. I had foolishly neglected to bring any reading material, and when the pilot said we were 3 hours away, I considered gouging out my eyeballs. Instead, I actually read the in-flight magazine's 12-page story on how great St. Paul / Minneapolis are for business. Then I solved the brain teasers (except the ones that would take two seconds with algebra; I know I could do it, I just didn't have a pen handy). Then I read the descriptions of this season's new TV shows, even though I don't have a TV. Then I stared at the maps of Delta flight routes for a good 15 minutes. (Did you know Salt Lake City is a much bigger hub than Chicago? OK that's not shocking, but did you know Memphis is a much bigger hub than Chicago?) If it weren't for that magazine, I probably would have solved the Riemann hypothesis.

* A guy eight seats in front of me had the exact same shirt on that I did. (Well, not the exact same shirt--that would have been size XXXXXXL. You get what I mean.) Isn't it odd how rarely that happens? That's probably the second time in my life that I've seen a guy with literally the same shirt that I had on at the time. And it's certainly not because I have such cutting edge fashion sense. Speaking of which, when movie stars go to the Academy Awards etc., do their publicists or whoever coordinate beforehand, to make sure nobody is coincidentally too similar to each other? That would be horrible in the gossip world.

* In the Detroit airport there were canine units all over the place, letting the dogs sniff everyone's luggage. What annoyed me was everyone was like, "Awww, what a cute puppy," instead of, "Umm, I think your goosesteps need to be a little higher." Haven't these travelers read Animal Farm? These were not cuddly doggies. I'm so glad I took that ribeye out of my laptop bag last night.

* When you're walking down a hotel hallway and you see a room service tray on the floor with fries that look fairly new, are you tempted to grab any? Oh, me neither, that's gross! Sick man! I was just asking.

* Seattle was gorgeous today; it was 83 and not a cloud in the sky when I got to the hotel (around 5pm local). I kept waiting for someone to say, "Oh, you were going to Seattle Washington? You better get back to the airport; this is Seattle California."

* Scott Sumner's blog is simply perfect for reading on a Blackberry while you're at a restaurant by yourself. His posts are too long for me to sit down and read when I'm at a computer and could actually be doing something productive, but if I'm just sitting somewhere and can only surf, then his posts are simply superb. If I could clone myself, I would devote Bob Murphy #8 to making blog posts as sweeping as Scott's. For example, by the time I got my check tonight, I had catalogued 5 statements in this post that I thought were astoundingly wrong. And yet, Scott makes error seem so easy. How does he do it? Practice practice practice I guess.

Bob, you have a good sense of humor. My question is why are you not on facebook. Tom Woods, Lew, Walter, Jeff, practically everyone is on there. It appears that you and DiLorenzo are the last two hold-outs.

Just saying...facebook is not the best way to kill time, but it's something. Woods posted a quick video of Ignatowski from "Taxi", the other day that had me chuckling...

Come on must have a laptop, somewhere.
So, Bob, when you sign books at B&N, do you have to do it sneakily? I'm imagining you opening your coat and tucking the book in there to quickly sign it with a sharpie and then stuffing it back on the shelf. Do you ever sign other peoples books [Woods]?

Or do you walk in the store shouting "Author entering!" ringing a bell over your head.

Or maybe the event was planned.
For how long were you in Detroit? Was it just a layover?
Book signing: I go to the desk and ask if they have it, if they say yes then I tell them I'm the author. The publisher tells you to do that whenever possible, because then it's harder for the store to send the book back if it doesn't sell.

Aristos: Just a layover. Long enough to get smelled up by some dogs and empty my bladder (not on the dogs).

I already waste too much time. Facebook would make me lose the house.

I know what you're saying about Sumner. I actually complained to a friend a few nights ago that I had sat in front of my computer for two hours, trying to type out a take-down of Sumner's FAQ/About on his blog, and I realized I couldn't do it. As erroneous as it is, there is NOTHING TO TAKE DOWN! Why? Because he doesn't really share enough comprehensive premises (yes, he shares some premises but not the comprehensive ones) and does not make arguments that are topically cohesive enough to 'strike the root' and end his arguments all at once. Instead, it is a principle-less many-headed hydra of fallacy that leaves you hacking and slashing with reckless abandon and ultimately getting nowhere fast.

Did you notice he doesn't really say anything about what efficient/optimal monetary policy should be or should have as its goal, he really only talks about what the Fed should do/say to be most credible in pursuing its goals, whatever those happen to be?

He's a Human-Tinkerer. He sees the markets and economics as some big, impersonal model for him to play with. It's all a game for him. He's unaware he's talking about people's lives, ambitions, blood-sweat-and-tears-earned wealth. Instead it's just "wave of my magic wand and... nope, that didn't work. Okay, let's try this, wave of my magic wand and... nope, that didn't work either, hmmm, let's try this..."

As for the dog comment... wow. Yeah, that is America nowadays. Wouldn't surprise me to hear, "awwwwww, lookit how he's gnawing my leg right down to the bone and making me bleed everywhere... awwww, so gosh darn cute! Thanks for keeping us all safe and free of terror Mr. Policema-- aggghhhhh....."

Of course, according to Lew Rockwell and the LRC bloggers, all the Gestapo in US airports not only prove this is a fascist country, they also prove that China is free! ( I'm not making this up. )
See you in Seattle tomorrow. My buddy Joe and I are driving up from Portland.
"If it weren't for that magazine, I probably would have solved the Riemann hypothesis."

Ohh Bob, great joke. If you could take that down though, it would probably help spread the word of anarcho-capitalism though. Come on we all believe in you!!! Think of it, just 3 hours, bamm, you're done.
He wore the SAME shirt as you?

That must have been quite a sight....;)

I mean, I have seen people wearing shirts that look the same as mine, but the SAME shirt?

People sleep in the SAME bed, but wear the SAME shirt?


Language is fun.
So at the VMAs last night, Pink and Shakira ended up wearing the same thing. If it were me, I would just die.
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