Monthly Archives: September 2013

Humility in academic discourse

I’ve often attributed the unfortunate state of public discourse at least in part to “experts’ ” refusal to admit mistakes. It may be a personal pet peeve of mine, but rings true throughout the realms of politics and economics. Why do we have such trouble admitting when we are wrong about something? As any scientist […]

Sunday Sound: Live at Club Baby Grand

1956 – Jimmy Smith: Sweet Georgia Brown

Math geek alert

Adam Spencer thinks gigantic prime numbers are awesome. In the process, he sees the beauty in both mathematics and the amazing developments in modern technology which allow such discoveries to happen:

How much is YOUR dollar worth?

It could be worth much more than four quarters, if it has the right serial number on it: Low serial numbers, from 00000001 to 00000100, are sought after, as well as palindromes (23599532), solids (with a digit that repeats eight times), seven-of-a-kinds (66666665), ladders (45678901) and important dates (12071941). The criteria get even more obscure […]

An economist who does everything

Thanks to Miles Kimball for pointing out this profile of Susan Athey: In a profession that tends to encourage expertise in a single area, Athey’s research is distinguished for its diversity. When she won the Clark medal as the most influential U.S. economist under 40 — one of economics’ most prestigious prizes — the American […]

Tuesday Talk: Science is always learning

Sullivan suggests reading Carl Zimmer on the time it takes for the true meaning of a scientific story to reveal itself. In particular, he praises the Retro Report series of videos for providing a realistic “second look” on science stories: These videos remind us forcefully that the real meaning of stories about science takes time […]

It is in our nature to predict

Often, it can seem as if we feel compelled to make the predictions we make (either in economics or in our daily lives). Even when we have little to no information, or when that information is shaky, we predict. In The Signal and the Noise, Nate Silver highlights the evolutionary motivations behind our incessant need to […]