Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Haikunomic 07: Sordid Lynx

 “Wait, what? Jeff Ely
is reading this as we speak?
How could you know that?”

“Simple.  We can just
condition this on the fact
that he’s reading it!”

“Ah, I think I see.
The conversation only
happens when he reads?”

“Well technically there’s
a bunch of confused readers
who are not named Jeff.” 

“Huh. Maybe they could
pretend to be Jeff? Would that
make the haiku work?”

“No, it would still be
common knowledge, I think, that
they’re not the real Jeff.”

“Yeah, we’d know it was
a lie…so, what’s it take to
pass for Jeff Ely?

Uncommon knowledge.
Like, you need to know about
charcoal bags and stuff.”

“And you gotta know
that I know that you know that…
He likes that stuff, man.”

“Yeah, true.  Anyway,
I decided I don’t care
about the non-Jeffs.”

“Hey, can we stop talking in haiku?  I mean, isn’t it kinda Cheap, calling it a haiku but just going on and on anyway?”

“OK fine.  Yeah but anyway, so I decided that today I just don’t care about everyone who’s not Jeff.  So Jeff is reading this right now, and if you’re not Jeff, I’m sorry but I set your lambda to zero so your opinion just doesn’t matter.”

“Sneaky.  Kind of mean, tho.”

“I’ll make it up to them later.  Anyway, so Jeff Ely is reading this right now.”

“I think we’re on the same page.  Well in that case you should probably hurry up and say something smart.”

“Why would I want to do that?  Don't you know that anything I say, my reader will think?  But Jeff already has his own smart thoughts and all, that would be a waste of my powers.”

“Anything you say, he’ll think?”

“Yeah, watch: 'I am a sordid lynx,’ he thinks.  See, he just thought that.  He read it, so he thought it.”

“I see.  Well if he thinks so himself, it must be true.”


By reader request, Jeff Ely gets the treatment today.  We were happy to fill this request; we appreciate Cheap Talk around these parts, even though we are poor grad students with no grill and therefore no bags of charcoal in need of opening.  Furthermore, according to a rough back of the envelope calculation, I would have to be paid $0 per word in this haiku to make my talk as cheap as Jeff's; this compares favorably to Mankiw from last time.  

If you are just tuning in, you can access past and future haikunomics here.  It's probably a good idea, but I can't be sure; although I know you're reading right now, I don't know when right now is, and I certainly can't make any promises about future haikunomics.  

To be honest it's probably all downhill from here.

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