Friday, September 10, 2010

Austan Goolsbee Once Laughed At Me

Austan Goolsbee was just named the new chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. See Who Is Austan Goolsbee? How many people can say the President's top economic advisor laughed at them?

Here is what happened: I was at a book symposium in 2006. Steven Levitt (who, like Goolsbee, is a University of Chicago economist) was about to autograph my copy of his best selling book Freakonomics when I told him that I had emailed him a few months earlier with some analysis that I did about the viewer ratings for the movie Snakes On A Plane at the Internet Movie Data Base. There seemed to be something funny about the numbers, as if someone was gaming the system to get the movie a higher numerical rating.

When Levitt got my email with my analysis, he asked if he could post it on his blog. I said yes. So he posted it and here is the link: Snakes on the internet, too? So while Levitt is autographing the book, I said I couldn't think of anyone else in the world who would have been interested in what I had to say about Snakes On A Plane accept maybe the Freakonomics guys. That is when Mr. Goolsbee, who was sitting next to Levitt, laughed.

Levitt wrote: "Long live the snakes" in my copy of his book.

No comments: