Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Adam Smith was wrong....

Hi friends

Movie geeks must certainly remember this famous statement. I, for one, do remember what movie, what context and what location this statement was made. This statement and the full dialogue, was perhaps one of the most interesting things that I ever heard in my entire life till then. I will try to reproduce the dialogue below for the benefit of those who do not have headphones (The volume is really low)

I will not buy you gentlemen beer.

Bender: Oh, we’re not here for beer, my friend.

Nash: (sees the blond) ...Oh. (pause) Does anyone else feel she should be moving in slow motion?

Bender: Will she want a large wedding, you think?

Saul: Shall we say swords, gentlemen? Pistols at dawn?

Hansen: Have you remembered nothing? Recall the lessons of Adam Smith, the father of modern economics.

Saul: In, uh, in competition...

Group: ...Individual ambition serves the common good.

Hansen: Exactly.

Nielssen: Every man for himself, gentlemen.

Bender: And those who strike out are stuck with their friends.

Hansen: I’m not gonna strike out.

Saul: You can lead a blond to water, but you can’t make her drink.

Hansen: Uh, I don’t think he said that.

Saul: All right, nobody move. She’s looking over here. (sighs) All right, she’s looking at Nash.

Hansen: Oh, God. All right, he may have the upper hand now, but wait until he opens his mouth. Remember the last time?

Bender: Ah yes, that was one for the history books.

Nash (still looking at the blond): Adam Smith needs revision.

Hansen: What are you talking about?

Nash: If we all go for the blond, we block each other, and not a single one of us is going to get her. So then we go for her friends, but they will all give us the cold shoulder because nobody likes to be second choice.

But what if no one goes for the blond? We don’t get in each other’s way, and we don’t insult the other girls. That’s the only way we win. That’s the only way we all get laid.

Adam Smith said, the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself, right? That’s what he said, right? Incomplete. Incomplete! Because the best result would come from everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself and the group.

Hansen: Nash, if this is some way for you to get the blond on your own, you can go to Hell.

Nash: Governing dynamics, gentlemen... governing dynamics. Adam Smith was wrong.

And then he leaves the bar amid some small-talk among his friends. What struck me was the particular way in which he thanked the blond and the surprise on her face as to why she was being thanked for! Little did she know that she was the inspiration behind something that would change the face of economics forever!

Why did I like this scene?

When I was watching the movie, I was really really jealous of (er, guess who?) John Nash. He was looking at the hot blond and the first thing that came to his mind was Adam Smith's theory? Such a mind must indeed be beautiful, as it could see things in places that they could never exist at all! I longed to be in his place as he was on the threshold of something which shook the way economics was viewed and analysed. I didn't care that his friends may have got laid, (even with the blond for the record). For me, that thought was more important than "getting laid". Adam Smith needs revision! And Nash proved the power of the mind over the body.

This post is dedicated to our IIM-L topper Abhishek Agarwal. This clip is one of his favorites too!!



Abhi said...

I really like this scene ..... Amazing , how can a person think of Adam's theory at that place ...Simple beautiful

Varun Reddy Sevva said...

Lagtha hai saare toopers to yahi scene pasand aathi hai :)