Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"—We Also Walk Dogs"

I've been going through some old posts on incentive pay and they got me thinking about how education reformers, fresh water economists and libertarians often fall back on a strongly linear model. That, in turn, got me thinking about a Heinlein story I read years ago.

From Wikipedia:
"—We Also Walk Dogs" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. One of his Future History stories, it was first published in Astounding Science Fiction (July 1941 as by Anson MacDonald)....

'General Services', a very successful company that provides various personal services ... is asked to ... enable an interplanetary conference to be held on Earth, whose strong gravity is inhospitable to many of the native races of other planets in the solar system.

Much of the action of the story is ... about how to persuade the world’s leading physicist to undertake the job.
As memory serves, that really is the gist of the story. Find the right person, offer him or her sufficient incentive, get what you want. Add to that an entrepreneur hero...

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