måndag 10 maj 2010

Brev till Steven Levitt

Ekonomen Steven Levitt vid Chicagos Universitet är känd för böckerna Freakonomics och den senaste Superfreakonomics, som jag har på nattduksbordet just nu. Tyvärr är han en av många som lever i villfarelsen att det existerar ett Nobelpris i ekonomi. Jag bestämde mig för att bli en sån där gnällig person som skickar brev till andra för att påpeka felaktigheter:
Hi Steven.

I'm reading your brilliant book Superfreakonomics after enjoying Freakonomics a year or so ago. Before I lambast you for your horrible errors I'd like to flatter you a bit and tell you what a brilliant, talented and funny man you are. I've truly enjoyed both the interesting content and that way that you and the other Stephen relates it in a concise and often humoristic way. Well done indeed.

Even the sun has its spots though, or at least so they say (I've not been able to confirm this). In your latest work you several times mention the Nobel Prize in Economics. Obviously the main problem with that is that there is no Nobel Prize in Economics. The prizes are: Physics, Medicine, Chemistry, Literature and Peace.

What you're thinking of is the Swedish federal banks prize in economics, in memory of Alfred Nobel. It was created in 1968 for the 300 anniversary of the Sveriges Riksbank. It is no more a Nobel Prize than my recently created "Mattias Stenbergs prize for underwater pretzel eating in memory of Alfred Nobel". So there.

I'm guessing that you've been flooded by angry mails from other Swedes, and you may already have corrected this. In that case I apologize. I did not want to be one of the 38 imaginary people witnessing a crime and not reporting it, so I decided to rather risk taking action than be one of many who will watch an injustice be done and not intercede. In case this was indeed a completely superfluous e-mail I've attached a picture of two cats hugging that my girlfriend thought was very cute, so it won't have been completely worthless.

Best regards
Your adoring fan

Mattias Stenberg

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