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Regarding 4: after reading a few paragraphs I asked myself "why finish this article" and stopped reading.

Agree. I know we've talked about this here before in relation to a better written article.

+1

You lost me at "Regarding 4"...

Just kidding.

But #4 did piss me off. The NYRB writer largely picked a number of modernist novels to discuss as examples of novels that can end at any number of places. That's unfair. Modernist novels are not representative of all novels, not by a long shot. (In fact, that's probably the one point that most modernist authors have in common: they want to make it clear that THEIR work isn't run-of-the-mill.) Typically one doesn't read modernist novels to find out "what happens next". Compare best-sellers, romance novels and mysteries/thrillers.

Schopenhauer was most likely talking about stopping reading writers like Kant, who like most philosophers can be read and understood without reading everything (because they repeat themselves and the like).

The NYRB writer also makes stuff up that barely make sense, as when he talks about the "catharsis of exhaustion", which shows a misunderstanding of both catharsis and exhaustion.

But stupidly I read the entire piece.

>>>But stupidly I read the entire piece.<<<

Why, not-finish books?

Same here, at the point where he mentions the reader who didn't read the last 50 pages of his book. I did skim the rest of the article, though. Nothing of interest there, just more taps on a nail already driven home.

My favorite books are engineering monographs. I mostly skim them too, however I usually read the history chapter and the "miscellaneous" or "unusual applications" chapter. I learn a lot of interesting bits and pieces that way. Did you know that you can support the entire weight of a 150-ton locomotive on knife-edge bearings? That's done all the time on railroad weighbridges.

I asked myself “why finish this article” and stopped reading.

Me too.

1. Perhaps European economists are more accountable to their employers, thus wasting less time on non-work activity. Three channels: larger government employment levels, larger share of total economist population in central banks, tougher rules about research output of faculty.

Further studies showed precognition isn't real? I saw that coming months ago.

Future studies show precognition isn't real?

#1: http://fistfulofeuros.net/

#1 . Question should be why blogosphere in USA is much more rich than anywhere in the world.

Why cluster the two links in #2 together?

"The rest of the article makes the unrealistic assumption that people will be rational and honest when arguing." (from 5)

I can think of few sentences that are better at getting me to stop reading.

2. Bet they didn't see that coming.

4. I was going to leave a comment but then

#4 - I started reading the article, but then decided to put it down.
#5 - Fascinating.

Could #1 be related to the lack of alternative ideologies in Europe? Here in the US one of the main motivators is the right vs left debate. Even when this is not clearly state there is always the tension. On the other hand, even when Europe does implement some ideas that could be associate with the American right (like austerity) it is all done under the umbrella of left wing paradigms (to save the EU!). Europe seems to me like a place where the left has such control that debates are much more marginal. There is no fun in that so people don't even bother.

Do you know anything about the European left? They are often more sceptical about the European Union than the right, though, as always, the extremes oppose everything.

This is true in France, Ireland, Greece, Denmark. In part, it is because the European Union is the child of the post-war Christian Democrats, particularly Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi. Britain is not all of Europe!

In fact, do you know anything about contemporary politics at all? Europe has a far broader Overton window than the United States, with everyone from communists to ultra-nationalists getting a hearing.

The dog collar in 3 looks great. Toy dogs who make it through iron fences often end up as coyote snacks.

5. Good piece. There's an excellent wiki on Monty Hall problem -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem

One problem they don't mention that comes up a lot is the bias of the known over the unknown. Austrians like to make the point that econometrics can fool us into to false confidence about what we really know about the economy.

5. not a good piece.

The second equation

p(IQ2)/p(IQ1)=exp(a*( IQ2 - IQ1))

is wrong and fails for any given IQ1 as IQ2 tends to infinity.

The next derivation starts with an embedded assumption of independence, which surely needs to be stated or argued for.

On 1: look at this (on the rwer blog, surely not purely European, but that's not the intention)

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/the-136-decrease-in-hourly-wage-costs-in-greece-after-the-third-quarter-of-2009/

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/meanwhile-in-europe-20-current-accounts-french-history-repeats-itself-in-germany/

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/unemployment-in-europe-january-2012-worse-than-expected/

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/current-account-deficits-in-europe-5-charts/

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/floating-and-pegged-exchange-rates-or-polish-succes-against-baltic-failure/

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/internal-versus-external-devaluation-two-examples/

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