Faulty memories, Part 3

Here’s the final tranche of Issawi’s Laws of Social Motion [brackets are IFO’s comments]:

14. On the Consumption of Paper. Each system has its own way of consuming vast amounts of paper: in socialist societies by filling out large forms in quadruplicate; in capitalist societies by putting up huge posters [billboards?] and wrapping every article in four layers of cardboard.

15. On Consumption Patterns. Other people’s patterns of expenditure and consumption are highly irrational, not to say slightly immoral.

16. First Law of Committo-dynamics. Comitas comitatum… omnia comitas

17. Second law of Committo-dynamics. The less you enjoy serving on committees, the more likely you are to be pressed to do so. (Explanation: if you do not like committees, you keep quiet, nod your head and look wise, and thereby acquire the reputation of being a [good] colleague; if you enjoy committees. you talk a lot and are regarded by the other members as a nuisance.)

19. On Prediction. If you predict the worst possible outcome of any situation, the probability of your being right is 0.9135.

21. Issawi’s Law of Petroleum (formulated ci. 1951). Where there are Muslims there is oil; the converse is not true.

23. On Aggression. At any given moment a society contains a certain amount of accumulated and accruing aggressiveness. If more than 21 years elapse without this aggressiveness being directed outward in a popular war against other countries, it turns inwards in social unrest, civil disturbances, and political disruption.

24. And yet it moves . . . . Not everything has to go wrong and, anyway, nothing is “the end” of anything — it has happened before and will happen again.

Here is our edited version of Wikipedia’s bio: “Charles Issawi (1916 – December 8, 2000) [1] was an academic economist and historian of the Middle East at Columbia University and Princeton University in the United States. He was a pioneer in studying the late economic history of the Ottoman Empire and the Arab Middle East.

“Born in 1916 in Cairo, Egypt, to Assyrian Orthodox Christian parents, Issawi studied at Victoria College in Alexandria, where he was the number one student in his class, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He worked briefly in the Egyptian government’s finance ministry before moving into academia. He was at the American University of Beirut, during the Second World War. In 1951 he moved to Columbia University in New York, where he taught economics until moving to Princeton University in 1975.”


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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