Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Things I wish I'd read earlier: I Pencil

I'm going to start an occasional series in which I'll post links to several articles and books that I wish I'd read earlier (or if they're in copyright, links to somewhere you can buy them). Mostly because if you're reading this, and you haven't read them, you're probably going to enjoy them.

Also, I kind of plan to post something sometime about what I think they should teach in schools (and which parts of the current curriculum they could afford to miss out) and I think most of this belongs there.

I Pencil

I think by the time I finished school, I had just about heard of the Invisible Hand, but I'd never been taught about it, and didn't *really* understand what it meant. The genealogy of a pencil is an incredibly powerful illustration of what it means. I challenge anyone to read it and not be amazed by the power of the price system (why don't more people cite *that* as a proof of God's existence?). The fact that I can walk into a shop whenever I want a loaf of bread and be sure that I'll find one on a shelf really is a miracle - everyone should be reminded of that every now and then.

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