Man, we were totally scooped, and never even knew it.
Actually, the (first) linked post is a pretty serious and thorough examination of the FREE MARKET FAIRY concept that I was just having fun with. Do check it out.
And here, from two years ago, is a nice paraphrase of an argument I made somewhere recently. I'll add a link later, if I can remember where.
Bottom line: I have never, ever, ever had an original thought. (sigh)
Found it, over at the Baseline Scenario, and at Modeled Behavior, (I repeat myself when I feel upset* . . .) with some help from TEH Google. (Laprice's is actually better. Oh, well . . .)
In the natural sciences we have the ideal gas law, for example. Simple and elegant
P * V = N * R * T. We also realize that it is an IDEAL, a hypothetical construct, and that no actual gas in the real word follows it.
Of course, things are much simpler when dealing with statistical numbers of thinking, feeling, screaming, sweaty human beings than with essentially indistinguishable helium molecules.
* Update 3: Correction: "I repeat myself when under stress" Memory is an imperfect thing.