Reading this terrifically funny blog post I had a flashback (many flashbacks, actually) to various family dinner discussions. In attendance, and with opinions galore to share, we had: an economist, three engineers, two physicists, a psychologist, and a computer scientist. Family dinner was in fact more of a debating club, often about irrelevant and meaningless things. Great way to break bread together…!
Mathematician: Is that 18% of the pre-tax total, or of the total with tax?
Physicist: You know, it’s simpler if we assume the system doesn’t have tax.
Computer Scientist: But it does have tax.
Physicist: Sure, but the numbers work out more cleanly if we don’t pay tax and tip. It’s a pretty small error term. Let’s not complicate things unnecessarily.
Engineer: What you call a “small error,” I call a “collapsed bridge.”
Economist: Forget it. Taxes are inefficient, anyway. They create deadweight loss.
Mathematician: There you go again…
Economist: I mean it! If there were no taxes, I would have ordered a second soda.
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