by Tyler Cowen
on February 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm
1. Why they get naked at LSU: simple economics.
2. Should your tech firm have an economist?
3. “One of my favorite emails said something like “once you create a body of data, it’s subpoenable.””
4. Livestream for my Chicago chat with Randall Kroszner on the future of money, 6 p.m. CST.
5. “Now, Amazon Japan lists a company that offers budget-friendly monk delivery service.”
6. Substantive update on Amazon America’s retail plans.
7. What are the differences in Ivy League reading lists? And terror plans often leak.
#2 Better a Palm Reader, just as accurate but more fun at the company party
1 – Doesn’t make much sense; there are mountains of beads for the having by any parade route and no flashing is needed. Just wave. People don’t do it for beads, they do it for exhibitionism / libertine-ism.
Not the goods beads though. When I went I brought some playboy-bunny beads which commanded a steep price
Agreed, if you flash you get the good beads. And the quality and the type of the beads are something that women compete with each other against. There’s a competition component as well as an exhibitionist component.
Agreed – this reflects a deeply flawed understanding of how Mardi Gras works. Odd that Shrum has been there since 1982 yet his idea of Mardi Gras appears to come from Girls Gone Wild?
Anyway, for any loyal readers attending their first Mardi Gras this year, a few points – (1) flashing is optional, and *well* under one percent of all parade attendees will do it. You will get plenty of beads without; more, in fact, than you’ll ever know what to do with. (2) if you choose to partake, there are limited geographic regions where is is OK to flash, others where it is not. If you see lots of kids nearby, you are almost certainly in the “not OK” zone. (3) flashers are disproportionately out of towners. Take from that what you will. God speed, and have fun.
#1 – sagging demand.
Indeed – she looks as if she’s had muffins thrown at her
1. At LSU? Don’t you mean at Mardi Gras? This post and the next by Cowen are connected: naked before Lent and celibacy before God.
#1 – Could you argue that flashing is caught in a deflationary spiral? The dollar cost of beads has gone down thanks to Asian imports, but you can still get the same amount of boobage. Strippers, who still get tipped with singles, also illustrate this.
As someone trained in Sociology, I find link 1 very embarrassing
#5 This sounds like Uber for Monks. What little experience I have with Japanese, I suspect the average family is not much connected to their local temple. Nevertheless, there is a significant enough spiritual connection to Buddhism and significant enough societal pressures to require that a Monk officiate at any funeral. This is an innovative approach to addressing the burden of conducting expensive Japanese funerals that I think will be very successful.
At Columbia, we did not read “Frankenstein”. Neither did the girls at Barnard. The book was correctly considered to be a second rate. It’s a hard read. Poorly written. Why, of all the great novels written in the 19th century, should this be suddenly appearing on both Ivy and non-Ivy reading lists?
Mary Shelley – Well crafted prose relating to ethical issues on AI advances. Most people I know would be able to write a few thousand good sentences after a few thousand afternoons spent with the likes of P.B. Shelly and the very eccentric Byron, even if they (P.B.S. and the so-called Lord B,) were not much more than the classically-educated versions of the Laurels and the Hardys of their day (as for me I would put them more in the range of the 1936 Stooges of the Men in Black Days, or even in the range of sub-Wodehousians like Groucho and Stan, but who asked me?). The professors who assign this book have all done quite a lot to obtain their positions but would not claim to be generally equipped to ascertain the distribution of likelihoods as to their students participating in dangerous and cinematically second-rate, not to mention unpleasant, AI advances. So they assign it, hoping that the future will judge them with kindness.
Have you received a copy for review of Between Debt and the Devil, by Adair Turner? It was just published by Princeton University Press.
I grew up in Baton Rouge, went to LSU and have many fond memories of Mardi Gras. There aren’t many places in the US where a teenage boy can see naked women in public and law enforcement doesn’t care, so Mardi Gras was definitely on my calendar.
Most of the women flashing were just appreciating the anonymous approval. Really, if you’re female and flash, you’ll get showered with beads by admiring men. Nothing more or less than that. What’s not to love?
The interesting thing is that women who are by themselves or with other women are far more likely to flash. Those with male friends generally either won’t do it or will require the guys to turn around. Anonymity is still important.
This also accords with my experience
No. 6: I wouldn’t call this substantive in the least. It sounds like introducing yet another dimension of complexity into an already extremely complicated legacy business, from running wholesale cloud services & DC’s, to a 21st C Montgomery Ward retailer, with hundreds of product categories.
Moreover, rolling out multiple store types over fifty states, for what? The only thing I would be interested in is being able to sight & paw merchandise ‘in the flesh’.
If this wasn’t a requirement, I’d just order off the Amazon website.
Last, integrating the customer experience across different distribution channels is hard. Amazon has never done it before-what’s their USP?
This sounds more like WalMart’s latest failed experiment with smaller stores, or Target in Canada.
UPSHOT: ‘A Bridge Too Far’
This is terrible:
“Should your tech firm have an economist?” gives these lame reasons:
Advise on strategy
Build or improve the core product
Evaluate economic impact
Build brand awareness, credibility, and thought leadership
Weak! This misses some of the better reasons, which would include insights into game theory and therefore the ability to help with the construction of certain kinds of AI or agent-based simulations.
Tech companies usually cheat by hiring software developers who have demonstrated some insight about game theory, but I’ve known economists who can think through about the implications of incentives for an agent with a depth that few software developers can match.
The world would be a better place if more economists worked on game theory at tech companies. The benefits would flow in both directions:
1.) agent based simulations would improve thanks to economist’s understanding of incentives
2.) economists would be forced to reckon with “circumstance”, which is something they typically model as noise — something to be removed from any equilibrium model
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