It was a night of the long knives for my PhD last week. After much internal bickering amongst the various factions, some of them produced evidence that the leader of the powerful 'planned economy' clique were being funded by the French in a secret plot to overthrow the central question. There was some truth to this, it transpired: references can be found to a title stating -
Aims: to re-examine the 20th century 'economic calculation debate' using 21st Century computational methods'.
(Here is a good summary of that debate.)
A very manly and rugged aim, to be sure, involving what Diane Coyle might call 'macho' mathematics: men in itchy shirts, smoking pipes in the basements of ostensible bookshops, mathematically proving or disproving the theoretical possibility of socialism. (Hayek was above all this, of course.)
But in the grey light of the new year, a Gay Mafia consisting of various 'keepin it real' types carried out the final coup in a moment of wheel-of-fortune-spinning randomness. Well, now the die is cast. Or possibly the dice, I'm never sure. The good news is, it means it won't take me 25 years to finish my PhD - so I've hopefully avoided reaching 60, nourished on stray dogs and fagbutts alone, and submitting a final manuscript on radioactive cardboard written in the bushes of a motorway feed island.