06 May 2013


Economics, Federal Reserve, Game Theory, Potpourri 21 Comments

==> An interesting story of a professor who purposely let his class “cheat” on a Game Theory exam in order to teach game theory.

==> Can’t remember if I already linked to this: The formal details of my June 3 debate with Warren Mosler, at Columbia University, moderated by John Carney of CNBC. (Yes it’s live; before we thought it would just be online.)

==> Tom Woods shares his views on teaching as part of the Ron Paul Curriculum.

==> Nassim Taleb needs to eat a Snickers bar or something.

==> Filmmakers apparently will be hurt by New York State’s gun restrictions, and are protesting. Funniest line EVER: “[T]he entertainment industry should not be penalized accidentally by a law intended as a response to mass shootings.”

==> David R. Henderson on Reinhart and Rogoff.

==> Do NOT let Krugman see this.

==> More Channel 5 coverage of highway robbery. The interview with the cop in the first 2 minutes is funny/scary.

==> Adam Kokesh and I have very different philosophies when it comes to getting the message out.

==> David Beckworth on the case for monetary action offsetting the Dread Pirate Austerity.

21 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Ryan Murphy says:

    Regarding Taleb, lol.

  2. skylien says:

    “==> Do NOT let Krugman see this.”

    I hope noone interprets this as a very subtle way of trying to avoid the debate by you sabotaging it yourself because your recent forecasting errors (revealed by DeLong) have truly shaken your confidence in AE and/or your own skills as economist..


    Yeah Kokesh seems to be very slightly over the top…

    • skylien says:

      That looks wrong with that smiley. The smiley belongs to the first part of the comment..

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Oh yeah, I’m sure Murphy is shaking in his little Austrian boots due to underestimating the extent of cash preference.

      Any economist who claims ideological/theoretical victory on the basis of making a correct guess as to people’s future knowledge and preferences, should be vilified as a crank alongside Sylvia Browne.

  3. Bob Roddis says:

    Speaking of Kokesh, it has bothered me since around 1974 that libertarians never try to explain to anti-gun types that it would perfectly fine for them to all live together in private voluntary neighbors that were contractually free of guns, and even free of gun nuts if they so prefer. Similarly, libertarians never explain to pious types that they could all live together in private neighborhoods with no one else but other pious types.

    Instead of promoting free association and personal responsibility (pointing out that druggies would probably pay higher insurance rates and/or be banned from various areas and activities), we are known as the “pro-pot” and “pro-gun” people. O’Reilly compared Ron Paul to Jerry Sandusky. As Rothbard always said, libertarianism is just a proposal to ban the initiation of force and fraud and to enforce property and contract rights. What one actually does beyond respecting others’ rights is another topic altogether.

    • Matt M says:

      I’m not sure that’s such a winning argument though. I think many of the anti-gun types and the pious types may *claim* they only want to live and trade with those who agree with them, that this claim might actually be false, and deep down inside, they know it is false.

      I think most people instinctively understand that voluntary trade takes place only for mutual benefit, and that the division of labor makes society better. They might not articulate it as such, in fact they may articulate the complete opposite, but I still think that *deep down* they know it to be true.

      Much like the Marxist college student who hates big corporations but would never give up her Iphone or Starbucks latte, I think the vast majority of “conservative” religious people don’t *really* want to live in a world where there are no R-rated movies and where all of their products cost more because they only buy from companies who refuse to hire gays.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        I’m not sure such an explanation would convince anyone but it should put to rest any of their silly claims that we are necessarily “pro-gun” or “pro-drugs”. Further, I can fully understand why average practical non-ideological people would not support “legalized” drugs and “unregulated” guns under the present system. Who wants to live next door to meth heads with 50 guns and be forced to send their kids to public schools with the neighbor’s kids? If we are going to be attacked for something, let’s be attacked for our actual proposals, not for this stupid intermediate nonsense that’s been rejected 99.5% to .5% for 40 years.

        Such an explanation may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        I think the vast majority of “conservative” religious people don’t *really* want to live in a world where there are no R-rated movies and where all of their products cost more because they only buy from companies who refuse to hire gays.

        I agree. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. We can just explain there will be no more freebie political jihads against groups some people might not like but if they are so against them and refuse to deal with them, it might cost them money. Don’t forget that the gays and “progressives” can exclude and avoid the religious types too. Which might cost them more than they originally thought. That’s how the system would work and we should be spending time explaining that, not making non-political people think we are necessarily “pro-drugs” or “pro-gay” or “anti-gay” or whatever.

        Further, just because you cannot initiate force, there is always that marvelously effective tool called ostracization that can be used to deal with people and activities you don’t particularly like.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Quit being so divisive, Roddis. Don’t you know that the eschatology of humanity is to eradicate this intolerable metaphysical separation, and reabsorb back into the pure concept of perfect singularity?

          Private property is an unholy alienation of humanity from “itself.”

          The true calling of humanity can only be fulfilled if private property were abolished, or, at the very least, held in check until the revolution of scarcity abolition.

          That means your property is my property. We all have a historical mission to force all private property owners to at most act as mere stewards for “society’s” resources. If you don’t use your property according to “society’s” needs, then you are exploiting others for your own sick enjoyment.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Tom Woods says: A Revolutionary Idea – TELL THE WHOLE STORY.


        That’s all I’m saying.

        And when you meet conservatives who say they like everything but the Ron Paul foreign policy, explain that it’s a foreign policy of imposing Clintonista regimes upon the rest of the world. Those policies work as well in Iraq as they do in Detroit. What are you doing anyway imposing Hillary’s policies while our troops are being left permanently disabled?

  4. Tel says:

    Regarding the “Game Theory” article… I’m probably being negative but I don’t really see anything in either the class or the exam question that is actually about Game Theory. I mean, sure you can give deep statements like “Life is games,” but it means nothing. Game Theory is just a particular formal model of an interaction, you might as well say, “Life is models,” except that’s just wrong, because life is life and no model can ever be the real thing. So now you are stick with, “Life is a bit like a model” which is ummm, well yeah, we know that, that’s the whole idea of having a model, but how about actually teaching some Game Theory.

    If I was a kid and I had that guy as a teach I might learn something, but as an adult I would not send my kids to that guy.

  5. Dan (DD5) says:

    Policing for Profit ??

    If it were really Policing for profit, then such incidents would probably not be any part of a systemic ongoing problem..

  6. Ken B says:

    Re Taleb. For non-math types, the technical point is this: everyone uses the Central Limit Theorem and Gaussians for pretty much everything in social science and economics. This use of the CLT is well justified in most engineering contexts. But the CLT requires certain conditions and there is evidence (cf Mandelbrot) that asset markets and economies don’t satisfy them. If the CLT does not apply then most statistical methods won’t apply either. It’s a serious challenge.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      It’s not a challenge for those who don’t try to square circles.

      • Ken B says:

        It’s actually a strong argument for YOUR side MF, since you argue in general that that kind of analysis doesn’t work. Your objection is on different grounds, to the use of mathematics this way, whereas Taleb is looking at the actual mathematics used and arguing it is not being used consistently and properly, but to similar end.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Right, which is why the challenge will remain for Taleb.

          He just wants to fatten the tails, and promote mathematical economics once again, by rescuing it from the establishment kidnappers.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          And I hope you don’t view me as defending or fighting for a “side”…of “us versus them.”

          If need be, I’d go it alone.

          Seeing like-minded people is an added bonus, not a pillar.

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