Assorted links

1. The Gated City, new Kindle eSingle by Ryan Avent, on urban economics.

2. The Smile Sessions are to be released; I had my own mix tape over twenty years ago.

3. Justin Wolfers on Brookings.

4. How did Watson evolve?

5. What ever happened with the P vs. NP proof?


Interesting Jeopardy article. For anyone who wants further background the NOVA PBS special on Watson ("The Smartest Machine on Earth") does a great job explaining the difficulty of the problem and how machine learning helps to solve that problem.

(psst... lose the /#more-7109 in the link so we don't have to scroll back up)

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BREAKING NEWS -- Tyler, sorry to disrupt your daily assortment of links but you cannot ignore what The Economist just called A BIG FAT ZERO

Pay attention to the last paragraph and be ready for the Great Debate of Labor-Day-Weekend. What should Obama say on Thursday before the great opening of the NFL season? My bet is that your fraudulent-clown-in-chief will say something along the lines of what this column suggests

and therefore I think Tom Maguire's comment is relevant:

This was somewhat less urgent back when Nancy and Harry ruled the Congressional roost. Still, for Obama to wait thirty months before deciding to focus the Executive Branch on jobs, jobs jobs is an admisson of dereliction.

End of quote

Robert Samuelson has just posted his views on what some "gloom-mongers" are saying:

Earlier today I read this gloomy assessment of Greece's developments (in Spanish)

How bad is the state of the world economy? Indeed the answer depends on which "big story" one believes. Just making some adjustments in Arnold Kling's view of competing big stories, I'd say that there are four stories:

1. Collapse of aggregate demand with particular emphasis on its collapse in advanced economies. People that believe it hold Christine Romer's view that "we have the tools to deal with our problems, if only policy makers will use them."

2. Increasing regime uncertainty, again with particular emphasis on the high degree of uncertainty in advanced economies. People that believe it hold the view that institutions must be strengthened to support the expansion of the private sector (a supply-side problem).

3. The great stagnation of productivity caused by a slowdown in technological change, with particular emphasis on the performance of advanced economies in the past 40 years. Tyler --the only one that truly believe this story-- proposes to subsidize research and development.

4. The acceleration of technological change that prompted the search for new patterns of sustainable specialization and trade (or, in neoclassic economics, that prompted a reallocation of resources). Arnold Kling --the only one that truly believe this story-- suggests to relax because what's the alternative?

5. The world market economy's adjustment to the great shock of the past 25 years --over 3 billion people attempting to integrate themselves into the world market economy, with different degrees of support from their governments. I may be the only one that truly believes this story and I suggest each national government to facilitate its economy's adjustment to that shock.

That's only a starting point. I hope that Tyler and others are willing to develop their stories and their policy implications.

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#3: What a self-serving bit of twaddle.

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Kindle Singles are overpriced.

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5. <a href=""This probably sums it up fairly well.

Oops, it doesn't like my html.

Well, *I* like your html :-(

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In regard to the (yeah, overpriced) single, "The Gated City". It reminds me of that big blog entry a while back that, unfortunately, I cannot re-find. It was written by a non-Perry fan Texan that wanted to show that 1) there WAS something going on in Texas and that 2) it preceded Perry.

Of all the data points that stuck out it was the overwhelming affordability of housing in Texas. It makes a critical difference.

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@5. Maybe I should care, but I'm already as sure that P /= NP as I (and everybody else) was that only 4 colors were needed for a map before that was solved. If a proof is verified for P /= NP, some new techniques of interest to mathematicians will probably emerge from the process, but there's no danger that anybody is going to demonstrate that P = NP (which would have huge, real effects).

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As the only economist to participate in last year's debate on P!=NP to the point of being quoted by other participants, a few remarks on where I see it after reading the Lipton link. The brilliant Terence Tao has not commented, in this round, but he some time ago summarized the reasons why Deolalikar's attempted proof was not correct. So, now Deolalikar has a revised version he is keeping secret, much to the annoyance of some commentators, while it is being refereed at an unknown journal.

My suspicion is that the new version will also fail to be correct, although who knows? However, I think there is a good chance some version of the paper will be published. The reason is that he introduced certain new approaches in attempting the proof, such as drawing on some ideas from physics, which are worth having expounded in a published paper and that will be used more in the future, even if their use in this effort ultimately proves to have failed to bring a correct result.

It also should be noted, following the very last comment on the Lipton blog, that apparently Deolalikar did not post his own attempted proof, but rather had sent it to a selected group of individuals, asking them not to post it. So, some of the criticism of him for trying to publicize his own proof may be invalid. That said, commentators arguing that people should have their papers up publicly even while they are being refereed are correct, although given the storm of criticism Deolalikar came under, one can understand his reluctance to do so now.

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