Economists with Verve

22 February 2008 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

Jim Heckman is one. Steve Sailer, whom I enjoy reading despite many disagreements, recently shared this Heckman nugget. Referring to Heckman’s angry 1995 review of Herrnstein and Murray’s The Bell Curve, Sailer notes:

What people didn’t realize . . . is that Heckman is almost always upset. That’s his personality. In a Medieval Big Four Humours model, he’d be The Man of Choler.

Years ago, I was participating in an email discussion with Heckman, who made all of his contributions to the conversation IN ALL CAPS.

As I recall, I privately emailed him to suggest — diplomatically, I hoped — that if he didn’t find the shift key convenient, he could just eschew upper case altogether and type using only lower case, like e.e. cummings. You see, I explained, using all caps gives other readers the impression that you are shouting.

“I AM SHOUTING!” he emailed back.

Heckman’s distinctive personality is one of the things that helps make him a great scientist.

Incidentally, this story helps place the thin-skinned scholar episode in perspective.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

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