Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Let's Embrace David Friedman's New Dining Custom

Comment on David Friedman's blog entry A New Dining Custom


@PowerChild...I'm chuckling because you listed the eating accessories for David. Was that really necessary? Do you think David is a stranger in a strange land? He's not familiar with our bizarre customs and strange devices? Oh no, I'm still chuckling. I wonder if David copied the list for future reference. I can imagine that the next time he sits down to eat he'll whip out your list to make sure that he is fully accessorized. :D

It reminds me of a facebook group messaging discussion that a few of my friends and I were participating in.  Two ladies were discussing vibrators.  One is a fan of them while the other never uses them.  Here's the relevant snippet...

Jennifer Connelly: Pocket rocket is great it goes brerrrrrrrrrddr
Natalie Portman: I'm familiar with the device
I just don't need it

I think David is familiar with our eating devices...which is why it's funny that you listed them.  hehe.  Never mind me I'm just being ridiculous.

@Simon, yes! You're drunk! Me too! Not really though.

My database has four entries with the word "marriage" by Edward Burnett Tylor, one by Frédéric Bastiat, one by Friedrich Nietzsche and one by this fine fellow...
It is one thing to postulate universal rationality in human decision-making; it is another thing (and, in our view quite unjustified) simply to assume as an empirical matter that all human decisions are at all times universally arranged in equilibrium patterns. (To assume that no married person could change mates and become better off thus appears as a totally unjustified and unrealistic assumption, thoroughly undermining the usefulness of the "economic approach" to the marriage "market".) - Israel M Kirzner, The Driving Force of the Market: Essays in Austrian Economics
Regarding David's dinner there a seating arrangement that would have provided the maximum amount of value? stands to reason that no two seating arrangements are equally valuable.  David can't possibly derive the same exact amount of value from two different people.  Therefore, some arrangements are more valuable than other arrangements.  But the only way to determine the most valuable arrangement is to give people the opportunity to determine how much value they derive from each and every person there.  With this in mind...I support David's new dining custom.  And I'm not just supporting it because I want David to endorse pragmatarianism.  Nope.  Not even a little bit.


  1. Hey, since you mentioned my comment and my OCD is outta control this week, I might as well explain.

    Further up the comment thread in question, Ted Levy said...

    Let me get this straight: Every 5 minutes over the course of an hour, every single person picked up their plates, all their utensils, and their glassware and moved it one space to the right...Wow!

    I'm sure the waitstaff really loved that. :-)

    David responded:

    By the time I made the suggestion, people had pretty much finished eating and were talking. And the restaurant was one where you went up front and got your food, not one where a waiter brought it to you.

    But I don't see that it wouldn't work even if people were still eating--moving your plate and glass one place to the right isn't that hard. If the process started at the beginning of the dinner and people expected to spend an hour and a half or more, it would make sense to do it at ten minute intervals instead of five.
    [Emphasis mine]

    David did not appear to have picked up on the main part of Ted Levy's comment, which was about how much of a pain it would be to keep moving all the accessories people tend to use while dining out.

    So I figured I'd spell it out more explicitly, because I really did want to see what David would say.

    Your description of him as a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with our bizarre customs and strange devices, seems pretty apt most of the time. I'm sure David imposes this upon himself because that's his natural inclination as an inquisitive person and a thinker who strives for objective viewpoints. But it is funny.

    1. You were trying to paint a picture of a logistical nightmare. But your list made me laugh because David has to be just as familiar with American eating accessories as the next person.

      I don't think I would have laughed if you had listed Chinese eating accessories. Then it's reasonable to assume that David isn't familiar with all the Chinese eating devices. But I'm sure he's familiar with a chopsticks.

      Imagine if David forgot to take his fortune cookie with him when he moved over to the next seat. What happens when Robin Hanson ends up with David's fortune cookie?

      The other day my friend stole my fortune cookie. This is what it said, "You discover treasures where others see nothing unusual". Lately I've gotten the feeling that I'm not finding as many overlooked treasures as I used to.

  2. I don't doubt that David is indeed familiar with American eating accessories, but for whatever reason he either forgot or dismissed this knowledge when he said "moving your plate and glass one place to the right isn't that hard."