15 Apr 2013

Anything but water

  1. Insight from an eminent scientist that more economists should recognize:
    Pioneers in science only rarely make discoveries by extracting ideas from pure mathematics. Most of the stereotypical photographs of scientists studying rows of equations on a blackboard are instructors explaining discoveries already made. Real progress comes in the field writing notes, at the office amid a litter of doodled paper, in the hallway struggling to explain something to a friend, or eating lunch alone. Eureka moments require hard work. And focus. Ideas in science emerge most readily when some part of the world is studied for its own sake. They follow from thorough, well-organized knowledge of all that is known or can be imagined of real entities and processes within that fragment of existence.
  2. I've been told that I may use "fcuk" too much in these posts but I used that word (and others!) many times when preparing my tax return this year. Check out this PDF if you want to see Kafka in action.*

  3. A great article on the rise of fraudulent "open access" publishers in academia (prior post).

  4. Like me, Jerry Brito thinks that income and "money consumption" may not be the best things in life:
    What do I do for a living? Essentially I read a lot, I talk to a lot of interesting people, and I blog, tweet, and write articles like this one... For all intents and purposes, I am indeed working only 15 hours a week just as Keynes predicted. My income today is roughly the same as that of my parents. However, as someone with a law degree, I could have chosen a path—as many of my law school classmates did—that would have doubled it... Yes, I could have done better than my parents, but instead I chose to consume more leisure.
  5. Three posts on government failure: The European Commission wants to standardize "ecological footprints," i.e., guarantee work for consultants and confusion for consumers (price externalities instead!). Alabama will steal land for businesses in "favored industries" (auto parts?!). The US Government has no national energy strategy and that's a GOOD THING, since individuals and businesses have thousands of strategies that are better targeted, flexible, etc. (prior post).

* Maybe I have a complex return, with foreign income and capital gains, BUT the US is one of few countries to tax citizens worldwide AND capital gains calculations are only complex because of all the loopholes inserted by Congress for their rich buddies (and selves!).

H/T to MV

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