Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Marx @ MasterCard

July 3, 2012

Karl Marx is now on the new MasterCard from Sparkasse Chemnitz.

“The only intelligible language in which we converse with one another consists of our objects in their relation to each other. We would not understand a human language and it would remain without effect. By one side it would be recognised and felt as being a request, an entreaty, and therefore a humiliation.

Marx, Comments on James Mill (1844)

The Disposable Academic (via The Economist)

January 2, 2012

Reminds me of my days as a grad student: “You know you are a graduate student, goes one quip, when your office is better decorated than your home and you have a favourite flavour of instant noodle.”

full article


There is a demand for Keynes among Mankiw’s students

November 9, 2011

As the walk out of 70 students from Prof. Mankiw’s class illustrates, there is a demand for “alternative approaches” to economics. Here you can read a summary of the events as well as the open letter to Prof. Mankiw, in which the students explicitely state their demand for Keynesian economics.

Together with Larry Summer’s statement (see the previous post) the walk out shows evidence for a growing discontent with the homogenization of economic programs.

Summers on effective demand and DSGE

November 7, 2011

Last night, I read this piece in which Larry Summers was asked about the crisis and the role of the economics profession (and also about his work for Clinton and Obama).

His suggestion for the U.S. is to increase effective demand, like Keynes suggested a long time ago. Summers said: “If the private sector is either unable or unwilling to borrow and spend on a sufficient scale, then there is a substantial role for government in doing that.”

Summers also defended the role of the economics profession, but clearly stated his opinion about DSGE models. “However, Summers asserted, the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models used by many economists, which often assume the economy will naturally return to a basic equilibrium with full employment, have been of little value in these complex times.”

Correspondence between JEP and Frey published

August 25, 2011

The Journal of Economic Perspectives publishes the correspondence between the David Autor, editor of the journal, and Bruno Frey and Handelsblatt correspondent Olaf Storbeck comments on the latest developments in the Bruno Frey self-plagiarism affair.

New History of Economics Blog

June 29, 2011

My colleague Benjamin Mitra-Kahn is blogging about the history of economics. Recently, the blog called History of Economics Playground has moved to the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).

Read it here.


Joseph Stiglitz

June 19, 2011

Joseph Stiglitz is the most misunderstood man in America. Here is the preface which he wrote for “Exiting from the crisis: towards a model of more equitable and sustainable growth.”

Robert Frank in the NYTimes

May 15, 2011

In yesterday’s New York Times Robert Frank writes about behavioral economics and evolutionary theory.

The human brain was formed by relentless competition in the natural world, so it should be no surprise that we adapt quickly to changes in circumstances. Much of life, after all, is graded on the curve. Someone who remained permanently elated about her first promotion, for example, might find it hard to muster the drive to compete for her next one.

Sethi on Hirschman

April 7, 2011

Today is Albert Hirschman‘s 96th birthday. On this occasion Rajiv Sethi wrote a great post, telling us about Hirschman’s life, his methodology, and his appreciation for language. Read it here.

Massive Parallel Processing vs. The Human Brain

February 16, 2011

Today is the last day of the Jeopardy tournament between IBM’s Watson Supercomputer and Jeopardy nerds Ken Jennings and Brad Rutters. On a technical level this is a competition between 16 Terabyte RAM and 90 3.5 Ghz CPUs resulting in about 80 trillion computations per second and two human brains, each one being equipped with about 50-100 billion neurons.

At the moment it looks like Watson is going to win the competition. This illustrates, once more after Gary Kasparov vs. Deep Blue, (1) that computing power increases exponentially, a fact also known as Moore’s law, and (2) that as the more computers rely on learning algorithms, the more they resemble real human beings.

I collected some links on the topic:

Update 17th February: And the winner is: IBM’s Watson!

Hal 9000

...reminds me of HAL 9000 (image via Wikipedia)