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We had a few conversations about it. Initially we were both going to get rings, because I have a few problems with the gender politics of engagement rings. I don’t need a sign that he’s got a good income because I see his paychecks and I have my own earning power so I’m not dependent (also we’ve now got completely joint finances except for my savings from before the relationship). Then we looked for a ring which he would like but we came to the conclusion that they were ridiculously expensive and that actually we don’t need a ring to know we’re engaged and we’d rather put the money towards the wedding and our wedding rings. Plus, I don’t trust myself with expensive jewellery – I’m too prone to breaking or losing it (although I’m not sure how this will work with the wedding ring – I’m hoping keeping it simple will make that risk lower).
So a long list of reasons really, which are mostly rational. Fortunately I haven’t been treated to any rants about how I’m not really engaged if there isn’t a ring (I hear this happens to other people but apparently my social circle are pretty cool), so the costs for going against this convention have been negligible (I did spend a few weeks quietly mourning my lack of “sparkly” but we may get a glittery anniversary ring at some point when our finances are better).
Bob, I sympathise with both of you. I think there is a significant psychic cost to bucking social norms. I think I just got lucky that people are used to me being someone who likes to be contrary P
I’m not actually advocating being a tightwad, so I hope your fiance got you something else nice instead. I am also curious how many women would still want the pricey rings if they fully realized that, since marriages merge assets, they are essentially paying for the rings themselves and have to forgo other things as a result.
1. I have the Clocky (shown above)
2. I also have an Alarm clock with a propeller that flies away when it goes off, requiring you to find where it landed and carefully reinsert it into the top of the clock to get a snooze.
3. I also have an Alarm clock that comes with a light gun. When the clock goes off in the morning, you have to hit a tiny target on the clock with the gun to get it to snooze.
4. I also downloaded software for my PC that plays an Anthrax song, REALLY LOUD, in the morning. It has no snooze button, you’re only choice is to hunt down the process in Windows Process Explorer and kill it from there.
None of it works. Humans can game any system.
My next project: Move the PC to the other end of my house and hook up remote speakers in my bedroom. This will force me to go 100 feet or so to make it stop.
Varun – “A teacher that just goes for the bad discounted books will be more transparent and see their class size dwindle over semesters and lowered pay or fired over time”
Be very careful what you optimize for. I see no reason to assume that the teacher a student likes best during finals week is the same person as the teacher a student likes when they are stuck in a difficult job and have to use their skills or knowledge. This sort of market failure is endemic in education settings.
Isn’t there an argument to be made that while the textbook is a tool to help the student learn, it’s also a tool to help the teacher do their job of teaching. Meaning that they should share in the cost of the materials they are using. Perhaps increase base pay but deduct a % of textbook costs for standardized class sizes.
A teacher that just goes for the bad discounted books will be more transparent and see their class size dwindle over semesters and lowered pay or fired over time. Best part is that teachers who create their own teaching solutions don’t have to rely on mass market to see financial returns. This would allow more competing teaching tools into the market. With good student feedback, best teaching methods would spread quicker.
I’m curious though, why should the textbook market survive at all? Wouldn’t it be better to sell books by the chapter? Then instead of writing a textbook to compete with Mankiw, you could pick the chapter that needs most work and try to write it so that it fits with the rest of the book but is better than what exists.
Thanks! I have suspicions that the Pearson nonsense is going on at other schools under the radar, and it seems as though instructors are at the very least discouraged from talking about it. Unfortunately, this usually ends up making them look foolish for choosing crappy materials when, in reality, it wasn’t really their choice.
Fun fact: the Principles of Economics instructor at Harvard Extension School used to work for Greg Mankiw, who is a Harvard Professor, but the instructor doesn’t use Mankiw’s text for his course. He uses a Pearson text instead (and does for Intermediate Micro as well) even though the online problem sets are filled with errors and nonsensical questions. Students started speculating about whether he was obligated to use these materials, since he, like Dirk, is a beloved instructor who clearly wants the best for his students.