Assorted links

1. The book boyfriend

2. Should you laugh at UFO research?

3. Is there excess conformity in economics?

4. A new theory of the genetic origins of homosexuality


"But after three decades of questioning whether the world can continue to support our consumption habits, Rees has had trouble convincing his colleagues in economics that their economic model needs an overhaul."

Gee, I wonder why.

Excess conformity? - very likely, though it's very easy to use this idea to explain away inconvenient scientific consensus, which seems to be what the adbusters article is doing. For example:

“The leading economists of the day feared that if workers understood Marxist theory, the working class would realize how badly they were being exploited,† he says. “Fearing this might lead to revolutionary fervor, economists sought to recast economic theory to neutralize the Marxist critique. They limited their neoclassical theory to looking at innocuous issues such as how prices change. They also sought to prove that everyone gets paid exactly in accordance with their net contribution to society, implying that workers aren’t exploited and that is no basis for workers to claim a fairer share of the pie.†

Good grief.

Has that genetic theory on homosexuality been reported on elsewhere in the past month or so? NPR, perhaps? It sounds really familiar.

What the heck is 'feminist economics', anyway?

That was a new theory like 6 months ago.

He was my blog boyfriend before he was your book boyfriend, bitches! :) :) :)

Re: Too much conformity in economic thought:

I would translate the article thusly: Most of the people in my field think I'm wrong; therefore, there's obviously too much conformity of thought!

I wonder what the author thinks concerning diversity of thought with regard to anthropogenic global warming?

My favorite observation was the young lady who noted that supply and demand curves don't care about social justice: how astute! At least she got her money's worth from the class...

dude, not all women want diamonds. not all women are ok with financing civil wars in western africa. and some women lose everything and would probably lose a diamond ring too because she can't hold onto any piece of jewelry.

“Even though I took them with one of the most popular profs at the university, a guy who always won undergraduate teaching awards, I hated them. I found them so far removed from real life, and it seemed like the only thing economics was good for was to argue against my political views. For me, there were other considerations beyond shifting supply and demand curves, like social justice, but there was absolutely no discussion in class about those kinds of issues.†
I think that economics comes across as far-removed from real life in the introductory classes, where things are very simplified, less nuanced and you learn a lot of generalities. I think if this person had taken beyond 2 economics classes, she would have found that a) there's plenty of economic arguments in support of her political views and b) you can look at economics in the context of social justice.

Ms. Brain: at my department,(Univ. of Oklahoma Econ) we have 6 women, 2 Chinese men, 1 Turkish man, 1 Argentine man, 1 Greek man, and 7 American men. Not sure how you want to break that down, but it's pretty diverse, no? This is way more common across economics than you think. It's not an American male club by any stretch of the imagination.

this article is demagoguery, designed to make lazy people feel like they understand economics. there is no mention of econometrics or the use of logical and mathematical modelling techniques.

even at the undergraduate level, economics is concerned with developing formal solutions. political debate ought to take place in the political realm, where it belongs.

Does this mean that if my wife doesn't like sex, that my kids are less likely to be gay?

Note. The authors will have had to take previous birth order findings into account. A summary article in PNAS by Puts,
Jordan, and Breedlove says the effect (called fraternal birth-order or FBO) was observed and replicated as far back as Kinsey's research in the 1940s and 50s.


Dr. Cowan, would you be interested in collecting a harem of book-girlfriends? I've been chided here re something called an Alexa rating, by a blogger for whose traffic you created a massive spike on that system with a mere link-free allusion to his ickiness. You are apparently possessed of mysterious might. Let me show you how, um, wildly obnoxious I can be. I'm shameless, I'll even moralize if you're into that.

It's Cowen, not Cowan.

The world's most obnoxious blogger was, and is, not a he. "Ickiness" has nothing to do with it.

Yes, Dr. Cowen is possessed of mysterious might. It's called intelligence.

You are obnoxious, but not, um, wildly so. More mildly so.

I think there's a reason why Tyler put all of these links together.

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you should make more kinds of books

we should find more useful books

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