Men have often been accused of being unromantic, and the reason most of us are this way is because, 90 percent of the time, any kind of grand romantic gesture on our part ends with the woman being utterly terrified. "Aw, that's so sweet! [Runs.]" I have serenaded women. I have purchased a single red rose on a first date (I planned a picnic; she brought a friend at the last second). I have made mixtapes. I have written bad poetry. You name the flesh-creeping romantic gesture, I have attempted it, only to see it end in catastrophic failure.
And I'm not alone. Witness now the poor souls who attempted to pull off some [...] "Cameron Crowe movie finale" action, only to have it go spectacularly awry. ...
It's my 8th-grade year, roughly 1998, and I have a MASSIVE crush on a girl named Abby. Abby was popular and pretty, and I was into the theater and had a bowl cut. As is so often the case with girls who are popular and pretty, Abby was on the girls soccer team. I was in the band. I played the clarinet.
One day, I decided I was going to attend one of her soccer games. My father, who I must stress did not stop me despite knowing my intent, drove me to the game and dropped me off. I hopped out of the car, clarinet case in tow, and walked to the field, full of the kind of confidence that can only come from sheer delusion.
I stand next to the bleachers, which were scattered with the few parents who could get off work by 4 p.m., and I put my clarinet together. By this point, I had been spotted. The girls knew I was there, and they knew why I was there. Abby wouldn't even look at me.
Even then, I figured what I had in mind would win her heart, because I thought real life was like the movies.
Right before the game was set to start, I began playing. Pep songs. On my clarinet. Accompanied by nothing but the inaudible sound of a collective sad empathy from the parents and utter mortification from the one girl I was trying to impress.
Needless to say, she didn't really speak to me after that until roughly our junior year of high school. Now, as adults, we live in the same large Southern town. According to Facebook, she's married to a lawyer. I bet he never played the clarinet for her.
I randomly take attendance in my Intro class (for exam bonus points). Today, to record attendance, and for fun, under the guise of 'current events are important,' I asked the class to put their name on a sheet of paper and list three countries in which the U.S. has active military engagements--that is, fighting. A few random (cherry-picked) responses:
In fairness, the vast majority of students named Iraq and Afghanistan (Aphganistan, Afganistan, Afganastan, Aphgan).
Cash is the most efficient gift, according to economists. Cash is also a terrible gift, according to economists. By guaranteeing that the recipient can buy exactly what she wants, you guarantee that the recipient will consider you an unemotional robot.
That's why the vast majority of economists in the University of Chicago's IGM poll said it's absurd to give cash to loved ones for the holidays. "In some cases," Steven Kaplan said, in a stirring defense for thoughtful gifts, "non-pecuniary [not cash-related] values are important."
Non-pecuniary values are important! I guess so. But can you imagine a more wooden explication of love? Can you imagine a more wooden explanation of anything? Just think of the Christmas card...
Here is a summary of the fields of the PhD job market candidates at the 'top' econ programs this year.
Since most environmental economists are really public economists trained in applied and theoretical micro and econometrics, I'm going to go ahead and group Micro Theory (26), Econometrics (14), Public (12), Applied Micro (11) and Environmental (8) under the Env-Econ umbrella and claim Env-Econ is really the top field (71).
That’s welcome news for the 12,000 Americans who have the disease, which is devastating and ultimately fatal, and for their families and future generations.
Now before I go much further, I will admit that we have a family friend (father of our kids' friends) who has been battling ALS for the past three years and I may not be fully objective when it comes to my views below, but anyway, if the campaign is working so well, then WHY DOES WILL OREMUS SPEND THE REST OF HIS ARTICLE CRITICIZING THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE?
Yet it’s hard to shake the feeling that, for most of the people posting ice bucket videos of themselves on Facebook, Vine, and Instagram, the charity part remains a postscript. Remember, the way the challenge is set up, the ice-drenching is the alternative to contributing actual money. Some of the people issuing the challenges have tweaked the rules by asking people to contribute $10 even if they do soak themselves. Even so, a lot of the participants are probably spending more money on bagged ice than on ALS research.
Yes, the challenge is a bit odd...either pour cold water on your head, or donate money. But as Will pointed out in the previous paragraph, people ARE donating.
So why be cynical Will?
But Will's idiocy doesn't end with this slight critique...he goes on:
As for “raising awareness,” few of the videos I’ve seen contain any substantive information about the disease, why the money is needed, or how it will be used. More than anything else, the ice bucket videos feel like an exercise in raising awareness of one’s own zaniness, altruism, and/or attractiveness in a wet T-shirt.
Will, Will, Will, we live in a time when messages have to be conveyed in less than 6 seconds and less than 140 characters. Not a lot of information can be conveyed in that time. But we also live in a time when the most extraordinary invention ever is available, in our hands, at all times: GOOGLE.
Ever heard of it?
Now let me demonstrate how GOOGLE might actually be helping with the awareness component you seem so concerned about. Here is a Facebook post from a family member:
I saw somebody else post the question: What is ALS? Do you know? There is a huge effort to "raise awareness" and I've seen a hundred friends dump ice water on themselves in the name of ALS awareness and I just had to look it up. I knew it was Lou Gehrig's disease, but nothing more. Did you know anything more than the ball player who had it? I'm supposed to dump water on myself soon. Thought I should look it up.
See how that works Will? The poster was only slightly aware of ALS. He was challenged to dump water on himself. He wondered why? He Googled ALS. Now he is MORE AWARE!
So what, oh wise-Will, do you propose is a better way to raise awareness?
That’s why I’m proposing what is sure to be an unpopular alternative to the #icebucketchallenge. It’s called the no ice bucket challenge, and it works like this:
Do not fetch a bucket, fill it with ice, or dump it on your head.
Do not film yourself or post anything on social media.
Just donate the damn money, whether to the ALS Association or to some other charity of your choice. And if it’s an organization you really believe in, feel free to politely encourage your friends and family to do the same.
BRILLIANT! Your solution Will is to DO NOTHING other than what was being done before? Hope people become magically aware? I'm pretty sure the folks who have been trying to raise awareness about ALS for the past 75 years are pretty happy with how this campaign is working. It's the best thing that has happened for their cause since Lou Gehrig declared himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
Donations follow awareness.
Research follows donations.
Progress follows research.
So Will, here is my suggestion for how you can help raise awareness for ALS.
No seriously, just shut up.
It makes no sense, for idiots like you to weigh in. Why criticize something that clearly has had a positive impact and at worst a campaign to which others are indifferent? If you don't want to support the cause, don't. That's your choice. Just as it is the choice of 322,860 people and counting to use #ALSICEBUCKETCHALLENGE on Instagram to post videos of themselves being naive enough to participate in such a collosal waste of time (SARC).
Even if only a tiny fraction of those posters are now more aware, well, I think the conclusion is obvious.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous