Wednesday, October 09, 2013

when the student is ready the teacher will appear

US budget impasse lingers, it may be worth remembering that in 1990 U.S. Budget Director Richard Darman wrote an introduction to the federal budget with a section "Green Eyeshades and the Cookie Monster" in which he called Cookie "the quintessential consumer", and the enormous budget "the Ultimate Cookie Monster".
As all monsters are, Cookie Monster is initially intimidating. His manner is gruff. His clumsiness occasionally causes damage. But quickly, Cookie Monster comes to be seen as benign—indeed, downright friendly. He has a few bad habits. He cannot resist gobbling up anything and everything that might be consumed, especially cookies. And he cannot quite control the way he spews forth crumbs. He is the quintessential consumer... The budget, for all its intimidating detail, might be seen similarly: as the Ultimate Cookie Monster. ... Its massive presence might be understood as little more than a compilation of cookies received, cookies crumbled, and crumbs spewed forth.Yet, apt though the Cookie Monster perspective may be, it does not suffice...
Intellectual fashions come and go ( Fukuyama's End of History, Huntington's Clash of Civilizations clash etc.) but the Cookie Monster is still as vital and relevant as ever.

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