17 April 2008

The chess-piece fallacy: why you should not study what is hot

Adam Smith chastised people who thought they could "arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess board." Yet, more than two centuries after Smith's warning, policy makers still try various forms of “social engineering.” Usually such schemes don't work because, unlike rooks and knights, people have wills and desires that often conflict with social engineers' theories...

- Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies

Or, facts can change such that engineers are no longer as in demand after you are told that four years ago that engineering is a hot thing to major in.

Note to all my little cousins and nieces and nephews please.

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