A Neurotic in an Exotic Land; The Adventures of Professor Lucas

Here you will find some related writings (generally not as funny as the book) and a little info about the author, as well as an excerpt from the book.
The photo above should have been the book's cover!--and it
should be turned around!

All rights reserved.

Although some of the items I've now posted differ in their mood and style from the book itself, I am posting them here anyway because they date from roughly the time period in which the book was written--and, I believe they share a certain ambience with it. (note added 14 March 2010)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

American Optimism Meets Slavic Fatalism and Mark "Locus" (sic)

Several years ago I published an article titled "American Optimism Meets Slavic Fatalism" in the Journal of Mundane Behavior.  The article has now been incorrectly cited twice.

The first time, the offenders also managed to change my nationality.  I've just discovered a second version of the mis-citation. AT  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566014111000124

To repeat:  The author of the article "American Optimism Meets Slavic Fatalism" which appeared in the Journal of Mundane Behavior 2.3  is NOT "Mark Locus".  Its author is Mark Lovas.

Nor is its author an expert on the culture, language, or society of Central/Eastern Europe.
He was trained as a Philosopher, and the paper reflects it.  He presents arguments of sort for
thinking that Americans are wrong to label Czechs or Slovaks "pessimistic", without considering
their history and culture.  And, if we do the reverse sort of thinking about Americans, we might
think differently about their so-called "optimism". (Though in 2014 that may have already changed.)

Oddly enough, the most recent citation manages to import the neo-Classical economist's divide between the market and everything else (aka 'interfering factors').  And, so my essay gets re-interpreted in a way I'd never endorse.  If I had know that economists were going to be read the thing.... sigh.

One final point.  I've heard it said many times that economists don't know how to write.  This most recent experience leads me to wonder if they even know how to read.

If you'd like to read the actual article, you will find it at this site: