Bryan Caplan  

Mozart: An Ultimate Resource

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Tyler Cowen has urged all bloggers to give Mozart his props this week. Here goes:

Dear Wolfgang:

I am very sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you. But you'll be happy to know that I have probably heard more of your music than any of your contemporaries. In fact, I have probably heard more of your music than you have! It's all thanks to the magic of recorded music, one of the many fruits of the economic growth since your tragic early death.

It's also too bad that you didn't live long enough to meet a brilliant American economist who also died before his time, Julian Simon. Simon called the creative human mind "the ultimate resource," and you're a perfect example. I shudder when I think how much great music would never have been if the world's population were half of what it's been. And I grow wistful when I think about how much more great music there would have been if only there had been more people.

Oh, and special thanks for The Magic Flute!

Sincerely,

Bryan


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
dearieme writes:

and, particularly, for the overture to The Marriage of Figaro.

Scott Scheule writes:

The Jupiter Symphony.

T.R. Elliott writes:

This has got to be one of the most bizarre posts I've seen on the internet yet. Congratulations.

Steve Sailer writes:

"I shudder when I think how much great music would never have been if the world's population were half of what it's been."

Funny, but in 1787 when the world population was about 1/6th what it is today, Ludwig van Beethoven moved to Vienna, where the population was perhaps 225,000. Yet, despite this dire lack of people in the world, much less in Vienna, the young Beethoven was able to find there two guys to teach him composition named Mozart and Haydn.

There is more in heaven and hell, Bryan, than is dreamt of in the philosophy of Julian Simon.

David Thomson writes:

"This has got to be one of the most bizarre posts I've seen on the internet yet."

Correction: it is one of the most insightful post you've ever seen on the Internet yet. Sadly, the Western Europeans have substantially embraced the anti-child culture to the point where they are incapable of reproducing themselves. Islamic nihilism is unlikely to give birth to a future Mozart or Beethoven.

Lord writes:

I shudder when I think how much great music would never have been if the world's population were twice of what it's been.

I guess that explains all that great Chinese and Indian music out there.

Matt writes:

It's too bad Mozart didn't live long enough to what? Mozart would have been about 175 years old to have met Simon (as an infant). Too bad we all can't live that long. T. R. Elliot, it pains me to read your posts but this time we can agree.
And don't forget, Tyler, August 29 is Michael Jackson's birthday. Be sure to give props on said day. Surely he has played some role in your life.

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