Assorted links

by on June 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. How the Dismal Science Got Its Name, by David M. Levy, excellent book now available with free download at the link.  Here is Alex’s MRU video on related topics.

2. Soccer as an economic experiment.

3. Excellent Tom Gallagher piece on Scottish independence.

4. Hacker and Pierson on the decline of the Downsian vision (pdf)

5. A nanosat (small satellite) might be only a four-inch cube.

6. Excellent profile of Ken Regan and his campaign against cheating in chess, by using computer programs to detect play which is too good.  But this is not merely a chess piece, think of it as a tour de force on the future of law enforcement, the role of Black Swans in life, the importance of social networks, and the different ways that humans organize information.

7. The political economy of special economic zones.

ut this is not mainly an article about chess.  Think of it as a tour de force on the future of law enforcement, the role of coincidence in human life, the possibility of Black Swans, the importance of social networks, and the different ways that human beings organize information.  – See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/?p=63412&preview=true#sthash.3HiMcKi1.dpuf

ut this is not mainly an article about chess.  Think of it as a tour de force on the future of law enforcement, the role of coincidence in human life, the possibility of Black Swans, the importance of social networks, and the different ways that human beings organize information.  – See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/?p=63412&preview=true#sthash.3HiMcKi1.dpuf
But this is not mainly an article about chess.  Think of it as a tour de force on the future of law enforcement, the role of coincidence in human life, the possibility of Black Swans, the importance of social networks, and the different ways that human beings organize information. – See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/?p=63412&preview=true#sthash.3HiMcKi1.dpuf
But this is not mainly an article about chess.  Think of it as a tour de force on the future of law enforcement, the role of coincidence in human life, the possibility of Black Swans, the importance of social networks, and the different ways that human beings organize information. – See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/?p=63412&preview=true#sthash.3HiMcKi1.dpuf

RP Johnson June 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

You state that the Book by David Levy on “How the Dismal Science Got Its Name is available as a download, but you don’t cite the location to get the download. I would very much like to read this book. How can I download it?
Thank you.

dan1111 June 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

The link is the download (PDF of the whole book). You can save a copy, probably by clicking a button in the lower right corner.

dearieme June 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm

The Spanish-Dutch economic experiment last night was a cracker. Diving Haughty Dons 1 Dirty Dutch Cloggers 5.

So Much for Subtlety June 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm

But we need to get that chess guy into the refereeing. I mean, Mexico was just robbed. Even though they won. How can Cameroon afford a better referee than Mexico? As for Brazil’s match with Croatia ….

Millian June 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm

An article which implies that an independent Scotland would have literally zero defence jobs due to the “ultra-Left” could be better described as hackish rather than excellent.

Millian June 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm

“Britain has greatly contributed to Northwestern Europe’s becoming a region of long-term geopolitical stability”

Presumably this includes the great geopolitical stability inflicted by the Irish famine. Presumably this causes a tear to well in TC’s eye – not for the Irish, you see, but for the brave Westminster statesmen who had to endure being their geopolitical neighbours.

dan1111 June 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm

In the real world, people and nations are mixtures of good and bad. It is possible to say something positive about Britain without condoning every single thing that Britain has done. Accusing someone of not caring about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, based on no evidence, is vicious slander.

jon livesey June 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm

I am starting to think of this as the Irish version of Godwin’s Law.

F. Lynx Pardinus June 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm

“I am starting to think of this as the Irish version of Godwin’s Law.”

Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply if the topic is Germany, just as Livesey’s Law doesn’t apply if the topic is the United Kingdom.

jon livesey June 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm

On the contrary, it’s pretty clearly true. Scottish defence jobs are concentrated in surface shipbuilding, and the pace of acquisition of surface ships is about enough to keep one high tech shipyard in existence in the whole UK. It would not be politically possible for the UK Government to assign this work to a hypothetical Independent Scotland, so it would move south, to Barrow or Portsmouth. In other words, defence employment in Scotland is pretty much a binary choice, and saying it would stay is just more Salmond bluff.

That said, this is not Scotland’s biggest jobs problem. The other biggies are UK-related civil service jobs, which would also have to move south, plus the financial industry, which simply could not remain in a country that could not act as lender of last resort. Finance would leave, not for sentimental reasons, but because a financial industry and a lender of last resort are pretty much inseparable.

If Salmond had run a less anglophobic campaign, there might be more support in rUK for a soft line in negotiating with a hypothetical independent Scotland, but Cameron will be under enormous pressure to take a tough line. It will be another EU-like situation for him. Play soft and be popular outside rUK or play tough and win the next election.

Art Deco June 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm

I suspect Scotland might be better off without a hypertrophied financial sector. You could set up a small bourse in Edinburgh rather like New Zealand’s; the RBS Group moves its headquarters to London and then spins off it’s Scottish branches and accounts as the Royal Bank of Scotland. Eventually, any remaining banks headquartered in Scotland divest themselves of their overseas assets. Then the sector might be of a size that a central bank and deposit insurance fund could manage. I suppose there would be frictional costs to doing this.

jon livesey June 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I am not sure what you mean by “better off without a hypertrophied financial sector”. Better off in a moral sense? Less sleek banker and more gruff kilted crofter?

It isn’t going to be a choice for Scotland. Without a lender of last resort, Scotland will lose much of its financial sector, and mostly to the rest of the UK. That means they will lose jobs, support industries, hotel traffic and tax revenue. That kind of “better off”.

So Much for Subtlety June 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm

If Cameron wants to play really hard ball, he should structure it so that an independent Scotland gets to keep BAe.

That would really f**k up their military.

jon livesey June 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm

“Keep” doesn’t really mean anything. Bae operate a shipyard or two in Scotland, as they do in the US and Australia, for that matter, but it’s a publicly traded company, not a nationalised one.

Nb June 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Agreed. Some fair points but inaccurate (it’s Yes Scotland for a start) and heavily one-sided. Far from excellent.

dearieme June 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Come to think of it, there is a justification – at base economic – for the Dutch dirt of last night and, more particularly, the utter filth of the last World Cup Final. They might have taken the attitude “These Spaniards will dive to win free kicks and penalties, so be sure to give ‘em a kick anyway.)

dearieme June 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Mark Thorson June 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm

There is no great stagnation, indeed.

Art Deco June 14, 2014 at 5:28 pm

# 3: Peronists with brogues. Luscious.

Ray Lopez June 15, 2014 at 1:20 am

@#6 – I enjoyed reading this piece on Regan. I have a friend who is developing a statistical tool to measure chess performance (reminds me, I have to bug him to work on it more, for a cool Windows GUI). The article was a interesting, gossipy, almost too much information, when it mentioned TC was Regan’s childhood friend and Regan is, in his private, non-scientist capacity, into defending Creationist science, but it was excellent. The log scale rating system for solving a set of chess problems, which determines how accurate you are, appears novel and indeed would be patentable. If, as Regan says, he wants to popularize this algorithm, he should post his C++ code to Github or Codeplex, though 35000+ lines of code would be a chore to slot through, unless it was commented, but some programmer could probably do it.

I’d like to see this economist / math / finance chess death match: Rogoff vs TC vs Regan vs Colin Crouch vs Patrick Wolff vs Peter Thiel, and probably a few other people I’ve forgotten (I think the US GM Larry Kaufman was also a stock broker), see more here on chess players and their non-chess professions: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/jobs.htm

Kenneth W. Regan June 16, 2014 at 1:39 am

In both my scientific and “non-scientific” capacity I’m quite the opposite of a defender of what’s commonly meant by “creation science”—see my forum post linked from http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~regan/Christian/ I’ve also used the Elsberry-Shallit paper in my seminars. I’ve added my position on ID—as distinct from creationism—to #13 of my answers to 20 questions about the article at http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~regan/chess/fidelity/RichT20Qs.html At an appropriate time I may write an article titled “Randomness as Manna” surveying applications from my field in which employing chance yields better results.

ThomasH June 15, 2014 at 7:43 am

SEZ’s are just one case of the theory of the second best. The issue is, does the SEZ allow transactions that transgress the most distorting departure from first best?

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