Sunday, February 2, 2014

Highly linkable

We live in a world that changes faster than it used to by orders of magnitude. One near-term example of this is pointed out by Mark Perry where he references a recent article about how much more turnover (demonstrated in terms of shorter average longevity) there is in the S&P 500.

I've been catching up on Bryan Caplan--now you can too:

  • He does a better job than I did a while back explaining the economic concept of the value of a statistical life. 
  • War, huh, good God, y'all . . . absolutely nothing.
  • And now I want him to address the counter to this, which would be: I'm too busy feeding my family to fight tyranny. I suspect that is something many hide behind including those of us in the first world myself included. Think of it in terms of this: I'm too busy enjoying my status as wealthiest humans in history to allow an open borders policy that would enable many, many others to enjoy this as well.

Scott Sumner lays out a great survey on how income inequality is a normal phenomenon that confuses the issue and should be largely ignored.

One mark of an organization about to meet its demise is it opposes changes that are good compromises between what it unrealistically wants (to continue the good times it had in the past) and what it ultimately might get (utter destruction). Perhaps that is at play right now with the NCAA.

One thing Don Boudreaux will not find in the Sears Wish List of 1982 is a time machine that would lock anyone into staying in that state of the world--thank God. That would have been a very bad mistake.

Perhaps Oklahoma will ironically lead the nation out of the government sanctioning of marriage problem.

17 equations that changed humanity. One thing that stood out to me was how misapplications of these or of other equations that then led to some of these took humanity down side roads. Newton's physical equations needed refinement for relativity and quantum mechanics. The normal distribution probably doesn't apply to many areas of asset price behavior and economic change that it is today used for including from later in the list the Black Scholes pricing model. Wish I knew more math . . .

I will be rooting for the local chaps in the upcoming sportsball contest. (HT: Tyler Cowen)

School's out forever! I was just thinking about this (original story link here). I'd like to see it charted over time. I think it would show an increasing propensity to cancel school due to inclimate weather. But this is not a "we're getting soft" effect. Rather I believe it is a wealth effect. As we grow wealthier, we have both the means and the desire to avoid getting out in risky weather. Notice that this would be a cancelling effect against the opposing wealth effect that more wealth means more ability to cope with bad weather. The dominating effect in my hypothesis is akin to putting kids in bike helmets. Biking isn't inherently riskier for kids today; in fact, it is most likely less risky. But it is relatively more costly--that is, the benefit from a helmet to reduce expected cost from an accident on a bike is significantly higher than in the past and sufficiently high enough to justify the helmet expense (cost of buying and cost of wearing).

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