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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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28 August 2007



Stavros a nice surprise to see Cavafys peom "Ithaca" on the left side of your blog. That poem is one of my favourites (along with "Candles" and "Tomorrow").

Is Hermes still around?


Hi Kossy,

I'm sure he's lurking around somewhere. Maybe he's on vacation.

Have you read my post in Greek, scroll down. I would appreciate your opinion.

I also like Cavafy's "Thermopylae" which I used as an introduction to a post I wrote
about my Papou:


I have not been on vacation for 4 years. I am still here. Currently reading a smattering of things: Akritic ballads, Werner Jaeger and listening to lots of music.


Speaking of books Hermes: what is your opinion on Economics education/books? You posted an interesting article some time ago on the transformation of Economics.

Economics today has become a second rate enginering science. As Nassim Taleb points out, this science is dominated by Locke's madman: people who make impeccable and rigorous reasoning from faulty premises (Gaussian distribution, transitivity of choices etc.). Not to mention that all the major significant economics departments are dominated by Jews (as always). Studying economics for years now, I distance myself from current economic thinking.

So I started to digg deeper in the realm of economic history. I focused on Ludwig von Mises, whose work "Human Action" is described as a Magnus Opus by the magazine Economist. Mises influenced Hayek and Hicks, people that shaped neo-Austrian business cycle theory. I am critical of their conclusions, that liberty is the ultimate mean of forming and shaping a society, and I suspect a grand design behind these theories, that is neatly summarized by the on the front page:

"They see all human beings as nothing more than economic units to be managed and harvested like farm animals: mere robot-like creatures cynically mesmerized and brainwashed by the tube while being ruthlessly exploited on a global scale under the false gods of "free markets" and "democracy."

I focused on JM Keynes, who put forward an alternative economic theory. His writings are eloquent and full of metaphers, but do they provide a framework for economic analysis? I fail to be peruaded.

I feel I went through a similar journey as Nassim Taleb ( ). After reading manifold economic theories and eminent economists, I have the impression the theories do not make sense (at least those I read). Assumptions diachronically change in economics, and the unexpected can not be fit/predicted in a model.

So I turn to (economic) philosophy (as Taleb does), and hope to find the answers here.

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Searching for Ithaka

  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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