Friday, April 26, 2013

On Descriptions of Dragons

I have always liked J. R. R. Tolkien's description of the dragon in the first chapter of the Hobbit:
Dragons steal gold and jewels, you know, from men and elves and dwarves, wherever they can find them; and they guard their plunder as long as they live (which is practically for ever, unless they are killed), and never enjoy a brass ring of it. Indeed they hardly know a good bit of work from a bad, though they usually have a good notion of the current market value; and they can't make a thing for themselves, not even mend a loose scale of their armour.
Tolkien was well versed in medieval lore and a wry observer of behavior. His description of the dragon reminds me of Hugh Nibley's description of managers that they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Should one consider a dragon as a manager, or a manager as a dragon?