Economist Uses Invisible Hook to Snag Wench


pirate cake topper

I've got a longer review of Peter Leeson's The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates in the upcoming print edition of Reason, but to tide you over (get it? tide) here's some good news, and a glimmer of hope for nerds everywhere:

Pirates and economics may not be sexy subjects for a book, but economists tend to see things and do things a bit differently. So it made sense for Peter Leeson, an economist at George Mason University, to propose to his girlfriend in the preface of his forthcoming book, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. He presented the finished book (and a ring) to her on Friday—and she said yes. 

Leeson's publisher, Princeton University Press, made arrangements for the author to receive the first copy of the book's printing. Everyone at the press kept the proposal a secret and even went to the trouble of extracting that section of the book—which read, "Ania, I love you; will you marry me?"—from the advance galleys that were mailed out to the press.

Leeson, an economist at George Mason, writes about the economic incentives that drove pirates to gruesome acts like torture and marooning. While Leeson assures me that all the good mushy love stuff is far and away the primary motivation in this case, economic incentives may have helped nudge Leeson in the direction of this public (and publicity-driving) proposal. Way to go economics: Torture and elaborate engagements, both explained!

We raise a glass of rum to ye, Peter and Ania. Yo ho!

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  1. What do you mean, “yo ho.” I find this degrading to womyn! I will now slash my wrists for attention.

  2. As an old college friend of Pete’s (his supply and demand curve tatoo itself was legend), let me just say CONGRATULATIONS!

  3. Wow, an even worse way to propose to someone than through the Jumbotron. She can’t say no unless she wants you to experience soul-crushing depression, and if she says no, well, you fell in love with someone who wants you to kill yourself.

  4. What wrong wit nockin woman on da head wid club, den carryin woman back to da cave?

  5. Arrrrr, matie!

  6. …but to tide you over (get it? tide)…

    But, what does any of this have to do with laundry detergent? 😉

  7. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, ARRRRRRRRRRR!, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z

  8. Everybody knows Marx is the last word in Economics. These fundies at GM are just a bunch of Fascists in professor’s robes.

    What’s next? Law from some flat-earth christian fundamentalist school?

  9. Torture and elaborate engagements

    But you repeat yourself.

  10. If I ever head a friend who was going to do the jumbotron proposal thing, I would arrange for a “No” graphic to follow it, regardless of what the actual outcome was.

    You know, just because my friend would deserve it.

  11. A gold doubloon to the man who punches TofuSushi in the nuts for that bad snark!

  12. Naga Sadow,

    Trying to continue the ReLOVElution* going again?

    *Or however those RP freaks write it.

  13. Naga,

    I’ll take yr challenge, youngster! And yr gold doubloon too!

    [punches Tufo in the yarbles, finds nothing there]

    Keep yr gold, I’ll go bandage my hand.

  14. Bean curd boy doesn’t pee in the pool because he really needs to . . or because he’s too lazy to head to the john . . but just because he enjoys watching people react and say EWWWW.

  15. SugarFree,

    Congratulations, you found my Chastity cup of Iron that my friends require I wear when not serving them in their humble but cozy, rent stabalized, apartment.

  16. Hmmmmmmm. Much to ponder on that point kinnath.


    Aye. A piece of eight for ya troubles, matie.

  17. RUN! Get the fuck away from that bitch. You can’t trust any of them! Not a single one! RUN!!!

  18. Princeton University Press?

  19. I finally have enough to replace my parrot! The current one only curses in Esperanto.

  20. How do you keep parrots from shitting on your shoulder?

  21. Those must be tiny corks . . . . unless parrots have big babbon asses.

  22. They are both sort of medium. If I ever find the bastard who buggered my parrot, he’s going to pay for all those extra big corks I’ve had to buy.

  23. He should have released the book on September 19.

    Ah, well. He still got t’lass.

  24. If I ever find the bastard who buggered my parrot

    But you’re already familiar with Lefiti.

  25. as long as i’m goldbricking, here’s a favorite exerpt from the best pirate novel i’ve read: (by way of set-up i should explain that the heroes Captain Avery & Colonel Blood have been captured by the pirates, chained in the hold, & given a choice of joining the crew or death…they are talking it over when):

    At this point they were interrupted by the little Welsh pirate who, in his capacity as shop steward of the local branch of the Amalgamated Brotherhood of Piratical Operatives and Filibusters and Allied Trades, was eager to see Avery enrolled in that powerful offshoot of the Coast Brethen. His overtures our intrepid captain received with a befitting silent scorn which the suspicious Taffy immediately misinterpreted.
    “Them other bastards been gettin’ at you, isn’t it?” he demanded. “Them from the CBI (Co-operative Buccaneers International) an’ NUPE (Nautical Union of Piratical Employees), eh? You don’t want no truck wi’ them, boyo- the CBI’s just a neo-fascist gang of boss’s blacklegs what’d sell their bourgeois souls for so-called alleged professional status an’ a couple of expense-account noshes at the Nombre Dios Hilton. Don’t think, comrades,” he went on with fine vehemence, “that we don’t know what goes on- back-handers from colonial governors and free weekends at Defoeland and the Gallows Beach Country Club in return for alleged so-called productivity deals negotiated in direct and flagrant disregard of democratice decisions taken at focsle-floor level an’ ratified in congress by card vote. Oh, we know! We may just be ordinary workin’ cut-throats, but we’re not bloody stupid, look you!” He was really going now, full of pithead passion. “An’ the other lot’s just a long-haired bunch o’ Trotskyite hippies an’ so-called alleged students engaged in subversive activities which our union execattive ‘as condemned as totally counter-productive at this moment in time an’ diametrically opposed an’ prejudicial to the basic interests of true loyal grass-roots piratical workers. You got no idea- at the intakin’ o’ Panama we couldn’t get near the Dons’ barricades for this unwashed rent-a-mob wi’ their banners: ‘Red Rory Must be Reinstated’, ‘Young Socialist Filibusters say NO to Inquisition Brutality’. Bleedin’ troublemakers- an’ half o’ them on drugs an’ all. Now, brother, if you was to enroll wi’ our shop…”

  26. Quite a few years back in the 90s, I came across a book in a used book store with the title, ‘Piracy and the Sodomite Tradition’. From what I could tell the book was a study of letters and dairies of 18th century pirates where they expressed their enthusiastic conquest of man-tail.

    ‘What do we do with a drunken sailor?
    Tie him to the mast and cornhole him later.’

  27. Gay and sailor go together like Lamb and Tuna Fish… or, you say spaghetti and meat ball?

  28. alan,

    Is it any wonder sailors always seem a little . . . “swish”?

  29. Some semen for some seamen! Lol. That one never gets old.

  30. In Mystic, CT right at the seaport there is an inn called “The Seaman’s Inn”. They often hold proms there. That’s truth in advertising.

  31. “‘What do we do with a drunken sailor?
    Tie him to the mast and cornhole him later.'”

    What do we do with a drunken sailor?
    What do we do with a drunken sailor?
    What do we do with a drunken sailor?
    Fuck him in the poofter.

  32. It is not really torture if limits are respected and consent is given, right?

  33. Suki, are you saying that pirates have safe words?

  34. Suki, are you saying that pirates have safe words?

    If the modern ones are not using red/yellow/green remind me not to play with them.

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