Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who's Laughing?

There is a man named Yoram Bauman. He has a Phd in economics and, I believe, is a professor of the subject. He is also a stand-up comedian. Not only that, but the two aren't mutually exclusive. His humor is based entirely around economics, politics, and current events. But more importantly, his humor is based in a certain requisite intelligence. Now, I'm not going to delve into the debate and discussion about the relationship between humor and intelligence, but I will say that, an economist, or more appropriately, an academic economist is perhaps more able and inclined to be funny than another professional. Let me explain.

The academic circle has much different requirements than your traditional career. In fact, as a student, I can already sense this difference, especially now that I am also gainfully employed. At school, as long as you get the work done and you are able to display your intelligence, you're golden. At work, half of the show is your appearance, your interactions with people, and your ability to navigate "office politics." As many have experienced, a stray joke or off-hand comment can derail many professional accomplishments. On the other hand, we all probably have met the consummate "awkward academic" whose social skills may be a bit clumsy or might not come across as the friendliest individual. Yet, he still has a job, and barring extreme cases, no school would turn down a well-published or famous teacher over a couple social faux-pas.

Narrowing down my point, most true "economists" are professors. And the economics profession itself requires a good understanding of the current goings-on in the world. Hence, many of the economists I've met are rather funny people, and many of your standard career types are a little on the, shall we say, bland side. Of course, these are just generalizations. Perhaps it would be more apt to say that even if those professionals are funny, they can't really show it. So, don't judge, but if you like telling jokes, don't leave school...

No comments:

Post a Comment