Can opener

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Last seen on: LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 20, Tuesday

Random information on the term “Can opener”:

“Assume a can opener” is a catchphrase used to mock economists and other theorists who base their conclusions on unjustified or oversimplified assumptions.

The phrase derives from a joke which dates to at least 1970 and possibly originated with British economists. The first book mentioning it is likely Economics as a Science (1970) by Kenneth E. Boulding:

There is a story that has been going around about a physicist, a chemist, and an economist who were stranded on a desert island with no implements and a can of food. The physicist and the chemist each devised an ingenious mechanism for getting the can open; the economist merely said, “Assume we have a can opener”!

The phrase was popularized in a 1981 book and has become sufficiently well known that many writers on economic topics use it as a catchphrase without further explanation.

The joke and its application to economists were taken up in the 1981 book Paper Money by George Goodman (under the pseudonym “Adam Smith”), wherein he applied the story to the then-tendency of economists to assume that inflation would go away, and mocked the notion that economists are “the high priests of this esoteric mystery.” In contrast, he asks “why the economists are always wrong.” The phrase “assume a can opener” became “his nagging accusation against the deductive logic and analytical models of economists.”

Can opener on Wikipedia

Random information on the term “TAB”:

A. N. R. Robinson International Airport (formerly Crown Point International Airport) (IATA: TAB, ICAO: TTCP) is an international airport located on the island of Tobago in Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the southwestern most part of the island, near the town of Canaan, and 11 km (6.8 mi) from the capital, Scarborough. It is one of two international airports serving the twin isle republic. The other airport is located on the island of Trinidad, Piarco International Airport.

The A. N. R. Robinson International Airport is situated on the southwestern tip of the island of Tobago. This airport is located within walking distance of some of several of the island’s beaches. The airport was commissioned in December 1940 when the Work Department laid a 670-meter (2,200 ft) landing strip.

The facilities at Crown Point were upgraded in the mid-1980s to accommodate a new terminal building, access roads, and extended apron. Further developments were commenced in 1987 and completed in 1992 to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft such as the Boeing 747. Another development program was scheduled to commence in 2011, anticipated to include an extension of the terminal building, runway works and the addition of jet bridges to the structure.

TAB on Wikipedia