ONE OF MY SURPRISE GIFTS. I was gratified to see John Kay saying something that I had been saying: “The best of all presents is one we did not know we wanted but love when we receive it.” I posted on the day after Christmas that I had gotten presents that I had not even been aware existed. Dick Weisfelder asked me what they were, and I named a book about the history of the English language by John McWhorter: OUR MAGNIFICENT BASTARD TONGUE. Kids, economists use the term “revealed preference” to refer to preferences of consumers that can be revealed by their purchasing habits. (Here is a wikipedia article on revealed preference which attributes the idea to Paul Samuelson). John Kay is suggesting that a friend can get an idea of our preferences that can be as good as the idea we get from introspection, and can use what we reveal to find us surprise gifts. This blog has revealed to me some interests that I didn’t know I had. The blog reveals that I have an interest in the history of the English language, and Annalisa used this knowledge to find her present for me.

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