There\’s something wrong about this Paul Krugman picture


As he says:

Raising the sails on the schooner,

And that\’s an extremely good way to die, drop the sails or lose all the skin on your hands while attempting to raise a sail.

All those bits to the side are tools, tools created over generations of experience, to allow you to raise the sail without doing any of those things.

No, really, us Goyim did work out the occasional thing, you know?

Update: So, from the comments it appears that he knows more about sailing as well as more about economics than me.

Ho hum.




9 thoughts on “There\’s something wrong about this Paul Krugman picture”

  1. Actually he is doing it correctly, look at where the tension on the rope is going to. The second photo in the article shows the technique more clearly. Prof Krugman pulls down on the rope and crewman pulls in the slack. The important bit is that the rope is looped under one of the pegs on the side. So long as there is enough force from the rope against the peg the the friction of the rope against the peg will transfer almost all of the weight on the rope into the peg. Raising a sail like this is hard work, but the technology is tough, simple and effective.

  2. you do this “spanish windlass” thing for the last few feet…..otherwise you just pull hand over hand…

  3. You even do it on modern yachts, its called “sweating ” and is much quicker than using winches for getting most of the sail up. The winches are then used for the last bit when it gets really heavy and you also need tension.

  4. “Meanwhile, at the Vasa Museum, some of our colleagues observed that the ship — a topheavy, vainglorious thing, which capsized and drowned all aboard — wasn’t a bad metaphor for the financial system.”

    Well, if you go about designing ships the way Krugman wants to design the financial system this is quite close to the truth.

    Isn’t adding more debt just the same as putting up more sail when in a raging storm?

  5. He seems to like Stockholm rather a lot. When I was there recently I was shocked at the price of beer. From his silence on the matter I conclude that Krugman, like all Keynesians, dodges his round.

    Incidently the Vasa was known before its launch not to be sea-worthy. It was only at the behest of the king – who over-ruled the experts – that it put to sea at all. I wouldn’t try to make a glib comment about what that could be a metaphor though..

  6. Yes, I went to see the Vasa this summer. I thought that the shipbuilders of the time probably wouldn’t have expected the one example of their craft to still be admired hundreds of years later was the worst made one. Quite a salutary lesson.

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