The ever-so-loyal Jessica Pickett asks:
A few of your posts – taken together with other econobloggers – would seem to suggest a correlation between being a libertarian economist and being a die-hard sci-fi/fantasy geek. Does your experience support this anecdotal observation, and if so, can you elaborate on the possible causation?
I see the connection, and I can think of a few possible answers:
1. The rude: Because both groups live in a fantasy world. But even if that is true, many other ideologues live in a fantasy world but fail to have the same attachment to science fiction.
2. The trivial: Both loves are correlated with "young upper middle class nerdy white male," but otherwise the connection has no significance.
3. The proud: Libertarian economists like to imagine how things otherwise might be. This spills over into a love for science fiction.
5. The sociological: Character development is notoriously weak in science fiction and libertarians are prone to see societies in terms of abstract laws rather than very definite individual human beings.
5. Denial or minimization of the fact: I doubt if the connection holds outside the USA. Plus bloggers are a very, um… "select" sample. Is Milton Friedman out there reading The King of Elfland’s Daughter? Much recommended, by the way.
My question: If you discover that your personality can be explained by a smaller rather than a larger number of dimensions, should this make you happy or sad? More or less trusting of your intuitions?