Thursday, 24 September 2015

Keynes advises students …

You don’t need to subscribe to his economics to admire his own facility with a pen. Here's what John Maynard Keynes had to say in his examiner's report when he was examiner for Auckland University in 1919:

The candidates as a whole showed that they had been reasonably industrious and conscientious in their work. If, however, I may make a criticism, it would be that they are unduly tied down to their textbooks, often imperfectly understood, and show an insufficient independence of mind. There was hardly any single instance in any of the papers of an individual or characteristic remark showing the personality of the writer. There was hardly even a lively or impudent passage amongst the lot. The general impression produced on the examiner’s mind is therefore very dull.
    It would be better, I think, if Economics were treated as a more lively subject, one having a controversial relation to current events and one which candidates were quite entitled to express their own sentiments, even at the expense of error and some foolishness creeping in.’

He was certainly not immune to error and foolishness himself.

The remarkable questions that he asked are available in the link below:

[Hat tip Riko Stevens]

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