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Unrepentant Subjectivity on Economics, Politics, Defence, Foreign Policy, and Russia

Krugman Overwhelmed by Stress, Planning to Become Monk?

This internet is surely the biggest leap forward in technology since the eighties invented the electrical carving knife, and the Parallax Brief hopelessly addicted. I can be swept into a trancelike state, slowly hyperlinking from a blog post about social planning, to a look at the pros and cons of America’s F-22 Raptor program, to Counterinsurgency Warfare: the Theory and Practice by David Galula, to the Algerian War of Independence, to Charles De Gaulle, to the Day of the Jackal, and all the way through the infinite degrees of separation.

The internet is nirvana, but one does find some odd things, and gain some interesting insights into people’s lives.

For instance, I read Paul Krugman’s blog religiously: I genuinely believe he is one of the finest minds, and most prescient analysts, of our time. In a short blog post today, he included a link to a book called Culture Made Stupid. I followed the link to the book’s Amazon page, where the top review is by none other than Paul Krugman.  From there, we can click through to Krugman’s personal Amazon page and view his Universal Wish List – a feature on Amazon which helps users keep track of the things they want to buy.

And Krugman’s is instructive. First, he is clearly in a state of high stress, with CDs Shamanic Dream, Zen Relaxation, Sleep Deeply, Natural Stress Relief: Dan Gibson’s Solitudes, Echoes of Nature: Rainforest, Evening Crickets (Nature Sounds Only Version), and Soothing Sea populating the top half of Krugman’s wish list.

Even more concerning is the second half of the list, which suggests the Nobel Laureate is so troubled about the parlous state of the world economy that he preparing to quit his positions as professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton Universit and New York Times op-ed columnist for a life of chastity, poverty and piety as a Monk. According to his wish list, Krugman is planning to read Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life, by Abbot Christopher Jamison, and An Infinity of Little Hours: Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World’s Most Austere Monastic Order by Nancy Klein Maguire .

I think we should all be very worried.

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