Bryan Caplan  

Bill Cosby: Underrated

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Reducing Ignorance, Facilitati... Book Club Worthy...

As a small child, I loved Bill Cosby, but when I became a man, I put aside childish things. But a few minutes ago, while perusing a list of Cosby quotes, I decided I was right the first time. A few gems:

A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.

Any man today who returns from work, sinks into a chair, and calls for his pipe is a man with an appetite for danger.

Even though your kids will consistently do the exact opposite of what you're telling them to do, you have to keep loving them just as much.

No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.

I guess the real reason that my wife and I had children is the same reason that Napoleon had for invading Russia: it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Nothing I've ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.

Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think - in a deeper voice.

Hmm... Perhaps Cosby will turn out to be a major presence in my next book?


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TRACKBACKS (3 to date)
TrackBack URL: http://econlog.econlib.org/mt/mt-tb.cgi/816
The author at amcgltd in a related article titled Your Thought for the Day writes:
    "Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think - in a deeper voice." -- Bill Cosby Via Econlog.... [Tracked on April 17, 2008 11:37 AM]
COMMENTS (9 to date)
scott clark writes:

Change the title of this post to "I underrated Bill Cosby."

He is not underrated in any general sense. The guy is hilarious and remarkebly insightful. He has a prolific body of work, culminating in The Cosby Show, which was groundbreaking television.

Better late than never though, as you say.

Fabio Rojas writes:

Bryan's influences ... Gary Becker ... Ayn Rand ... and Bill Cosby?? New question: is he talking "we're buying too many shoes" Cos or "let's have a chocolate pudding pop" Cos?

SheetWise writes:

Many, many, years ago, when I was gambling for a living -- Bill Cosby was playing at the Hilton in Las Vegas, and the casino gave us an invite and a line pass for the show. We went to see the dinner show, and it was so good we decided to go back and see the late show. It was an entirely different show. We went back and saw his show about five times that week -- and every time it was a new show. Essentially, he walked out on the stage, spotted someone in the audience, and began a conversation -- the conversation reminded him of something, and then he told a story -- for an hour.

How many people have that much confidence? Sure, he had 20 or 30 years of experience -- but he walked out on the stage without preparation for that show. He just knew he could do a show. It was quite impressive.

Mason writes:

Ok, what's this next book I've heard so much about? Apparently it'll be coving the waste that is education, the case for more parenting, and Cosby.

Well after listing them maybe those aren't so disjointed. I was remembering a longer list of "next book" topics, but Google comes up short.

It seems you're promotional strategy is working on at least one reader.

Dr. T writes:

What many people do not know is that Bill Cosby is a brilliant man with a doctorate in education. That's rare, since most people with doctorates in education are idiots. Many of his TV shows and live performances contain good advice about parenting and education.

He also has sensible (and, therefore, controversial) opinions on how inner city blacks should deal with their problems. He tells them to be good parents, to pressure the schools to provide safe learning environments, and to stop blaming whites for their problems. Unfortunately, his speeches get publicity not for their content but for the negative reactions by other black leaders.

Bill Cosby has always been on my short list of public figures I truly admire.

Bryan, does this mean you're eager for the release of "Leonard, Part 7"?

CK writes:

When it comes to Cosby, you've got your good stuff and bad stuff.


[Whether or not they're visible, the four "stuff" items are linked above.]

Matt writes:

I am trying to get out of here, have patience.

The reason all this is important, and this author has done good work, is that underwater archeology might be pushing agriculture back 3,000 years. That puts wide spread agriculture, of some kind, back to the recent interglacial period, a period in which a small differential change in the rate of co2 production would have compound effect at the top of the glacial period.

Well, our glacial cycle stopped, or failed to complete, the last time around some 12,000 years ago. Now, evolution, looking for the greatest source of oxidizing energy would be beating against the glacial cycle, evolution would want a genetic mutation that takes most advantage of ground oxidation during the warming up period.

Evolution designed the herding mammal, it burrows, tramples, migrates yet stays in groups for procreation. The mammal is less Malthusian than the lizard, and can carry "phase" information over territory and season that allows repetitive group behavior.

Matt Wells writes:

I agree with you. I used to love bill cosby but now never want to watch him. I guess i do view him as childish but i still like most the things from my childhood, so why not bill cosby. His quotes are actually pretty funny as well.

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