Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekend econlinks

  • Sharing information in scientific research: yes/no/when. Interesting, but the analysis here is applicable only in the context of some sciences (arguably, not most). Moreover, sharing by means of co-authorship is discussed at best indirectly (if one is willing to expand on their repeated interaction game thread...). But my major "disagreement" has to do with their upshot: my conjecture is that know-how sharing is, ceteris paribus, over all disciplines, U-shaped in the degree of competition (and, since I also believe that, overall, very high competition dominates very low competition equilibria, you already know what my prior of the ideal is). Remains however an open empirical question for now.

  • We are what we ate: Tony Judt's culinary autobiography. Reminds me that (fortunately) I have only got to know top Indian restaurants in London (in general, Londonese Indian cuisine is probably, up to now, my favourite in the world; though surely there is a variance): a lot must have changed.

  • Cheaptalk on the election process of Econometric Society Fellows. Not extremely surprising or, for that matter, singular within Economics; after all, they almost forgot Hurwicz for the Nobel Prize..., for largely the same reason: most of the people who used to propose and lobby for him died at some point... I think Ely is right: focus on the young people-- at least that would be an attempt to solve the problem for the future... And yes, for potential candidates why wouldn't you just look to the Econometrica editions (Lones Smith's suggestion in the comments)...

  • Philip Greenspun on universities and economic growth; via Razvan, on Ad Astra. First impression: he writes much and he misunderstands a lot; particularly the Economics of it all (no, he is not qualified to understand what is clear and what is controversial in Clark's book, to give but one example). Also, doesn't seem to realize (not sure whether qualifying this as voluntary misrepresentation would be better or worse...) the difference between statistical and anectodal evidence. And, in general, he doesn't seem to have decided whether his target is to make people incensed at or interested in what he has to say. BUT, although he errs nearly everywhere else, I agree that a. much change is needed in the way teaching in most universities is done nowadays (see also the 3rd bullet point here on opinions on the value of college education & all that jazz); b. he has some very decent ideas there (others had/have them too) and c. these changes would not cost too much, with the benefit very likely to outweigh that cost. (Probably) Inadvertently, Greenspun is actually arguing for a "Japanese approach" (which the Japanese apply to both teaching and on-the-job training): give a rather broad ("customer-based", if you want some context) training, be able to/ focus on study/work in teams, always help the new/junior ones etc. etc. There is however a known problem with the (standard) Japanese perspective to (life-long) education that I am not sure Greenspun is aware of... Simply put, you really do not want to give no/wrong incentives at the very top of the ability distribution.

  • One of the two prediction markets on the 2009 Romanian Presidential Election is now closed and cashed-out (the other one is also "closed", but waiting for the final results on Dec 6th), as the official First Round results of that election are out. Several participants won (virtual) money (yours truly included), but the congratulations go to Dan, as he is the one who won the most (a fortune!). Which means that he is obviously going to pay for the (very good: e.g. the French on this list?) wine, with the occasion of our next meeting :-).


Dan Anghel said...

Thank you lot:) I hope I will go on like this in the second prediction market too:) Good suggestion for the wine, now that my pockets aer packed with virtual money:)

Nice article from David Brooks and I think you found the good term for naming this second education, "exposure". The article is concise and well written, yet I think there are still difficulties in pinpointing exactly what exposure stands for.

Sebi Buhai said...

With the kind of stocks we had to trade, it's ultimately good it's all in the virtual world, whether losing or winning. This Romanian Presidential Electoral market is quite stinky, not a single interesting stock... Unfortunately it does have a real counterpart.

With regards to "exposure", I think that's exactly teh beauty of it: it is vague enough and should be so. It is also part of your portfolio choice, after all. But no exposure whatsoever is easy noticeable :-).

Anonymous said...

They actually asked students to use sex toys in public? That is soooo mad!

Sebi Buhai said...

PS. Don't misunderstand "public".

Sebi Buhai said...

lapsus calami: "misuse" instead of "misunderstand".