08 August 2007

best...book review...ever

Tyler Cowen has an enjoyable review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, a novel about a woman transported through the fictional ether into the body of a Jane Austen heroine.

1. Would I, at first, have to act sick and crazy so as to cover up what are in fact more systematic lapses from accepted codes of social behavior?

2. If I am a rational Bayesian, what percentage of "transported people" should I expect to find in my new world? (It is indicative that our heroine thinks she is very special and isn't much concerned with this question.) Would such people be natural allies or enemies?

3. If I met another transported person, could I figure this fact out? How long would it take and what are the best hints to drop? Should I just mention "the Boston Red Sox" and see what happens?

4. Living in such a world, how useful is it to know how the novel ends? (This is a theme in the story.) Could such knowledge compensate for not understanding the non-articulated rules of this world very well? What rate of interest should I pay on borrowed money, given the presence of speculative opportunities?

5. Being a rational Bayesian, how should I revise upwards my estimates that the world is ruled by an evil Demi-Urge, and what does this imply for the optimal degree of ethical behavior?

It is a sad commentary on our educational system that Courtney, the heroine of the novel, never ponders such a question.

6. At what percentage of "transported people" would we expect to see an impact on real GDP, and would this impact be positive or negative?

No comments:

Post a Comment