Monthly Archives: April 2013

Planet Money: Trust in Economics

Given the buzz in the economics universe about the errors in the well publicized Reinhart-Rogoff debt research (which claimed once a nation’s debt-GDP ratio reaches 90%, that nation’s growth rate diminishes strongly), many folks are asking how much economics research should be trusted. This is a great Planet Money piece (~15 minutes of audio) including […]

Interview with Nate Silver

The site Index Universe posts an interview with the one and only Nate Silver, who discusses, among other things, the destructive power of overconfidence when making predictions: IU: What I’ve taken away from the book is that the vast majority of experts are stunningly bad at making predictions. Silver: That’s the whole irony, I guess. There […]

J C Penney Should Have Learned About Anchoring Effects

The NY Times describes the failed pricing strategy of J C Penney, which had opted out of its previous system of coupons offering huge discounts in favor of “everyday low prices.” Although the move made sense from an operational standpoint – For sellers, setting and holding one price makes plain, economic sense. “You’re always going […]

Tuesday Talk: Dare to Disagree

Margaret Heffernan describes the crucial importance of disagreement. Questioning and debate are key to progress – so ask questions to others (even superiors) and invite criticism of your own work.  

Kierkegaard on Freedom

People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as compensation. -Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals

Sunday Sound: Pink Moon

1972 – Nick Drake: Pink Moon

Science is fallible

… and always will be. Mills Baker explains: One of the most significant intellectual errors educated persons make is in underestimating the fallibility of science. The very best scientific theories containing our soundest, most reliable knowledge are certain to be superseded, recategorized from “right” to “wrong”; they are, as physicist David Deutsch says, misconceptions: I have often thought […]