MORE ON MILTON FRIEDMAN: Popular Mechanics Editor Jim Meigs emails:

I loved the Tennis with Milton piece. Did you also know that Friedman was a sci-fi fan?

My father, A. James Meigs, studied under Friedman at the University of Chicago and remained a lifelong friend. We visited Milton and his wife, Rose, at their summer house in New England when I was 15 years old. I remember vividly how Milton quizzed me on what books I was reading. When I mentioned Robert Heinlein he was delighted. We had a detailed conversation about “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” Heinlein’s great thought experiment in radical libertarianism.

I came away struck with his genuine interest in the thoughts of a semi-articulate teenager. My father says this was one of Friedman’s most striking traits as a teacher. “I never met a more gracious professor,” he says.

At a time when every political debate seems to devolve instantly into name calling, it is nice to remember Friedman’s wonderful example of gracious, gentlemanly debate. We could use more of that today.

Indeed we could. And Tim Minear — of Firefly and Serenity fame — is working on a filmed version of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Efforts to translate Heinlein to film haven’t generally been very successful, but if anyone can do it, it’ll be him. We talked with Minear about that project in this podcast interview a while back.

Lots more on Friedman here.