by Eszter Hargittai on October 10, 2005

I must’ve taken an alternate route on the evolutionary path since I still hate beer for the most part. Regardless, I did enjoy watching this Guiness ad. [link to .mov file] You can read a bit about the video creation process here.

UPDATE: Oops, sorry, this is a CT dupe! I knew I had seen “Noitulove” somewhere recently.:) When I saw Kieran’s post I was on a machine that couldn’t deal with a .mov file so I never clicked through and by now it’s off the front page. (As has been noted we’ve been quite busy around here recently. And as has not been noted – because I have been too busy to note – I’m too overwhelmed with deadlines right now to spend much time on CT these days. I shouldn’t have broken my vow to stay away for a few more days. Oh well, at least I made CT history.:)

In case anyone else missed it the first time around, I recommend clicking through now.:-)

I’m looking for ideas of high quality documentaries and musicals (and, if you know any, musical documentaries) to show to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They are socio-economically disadvantaged (about 75% free or reduced school lunch) and about half are white, and half African-American. They’ll watch the films in grade-level-specific groups. Well?

A missing word

by Chris Bertram on October 10, 2005

I’m just back from Germany where I’ve been to a very interesting interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Bremen ‘s Sonderforschungsbereich “Staatlichkeit im Wandel”:http://www.staatlichkeit.uni-bremen.de/ on Trade Governance, Democracy and Inequality. As usual in such cases, the bringing together of philosophers and practitioners was both stimulating and revealing of how little we know about one another. Starting my own, basically normative, paper, I asserted that a central purpose of trade rules should be to promote justice. I was informed that “justice” was one word that would never pass the lips of a WTO negotiator. Which, doesn’t show, of course, either that I’m wrong about what should happen or that concerns about justice aren’t lurking in the shadows somewhere. But it suggests a startling disconnect between the public rhetoric about global inequality and the concerns at the negotiating table.

The Far Side

by Chris Bertram on October 10, 2005

This paragraph from Brian Hinton’s _South by South West: A Road Map to Alternative Country_ could perfectly well do service as a caption to a Far Side cartoon:

bq. Lazily labelled as “folk rock” during their ten-year career together, Richard and Linda were as attuned to Americana as anyone living in a Sufi commune in rural Norfolk could ever hope to be.

Probably the high-point of a book which mainly consists of a long list of obscure band names.

Economics Nobel for Schelling and Aumann

by Kieran Healy on October 10, 2005

Tom Schelling and Robert Aumann have been awarded this year’s Bank of Sweden Memorial Prize. Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution provides some information about both of them (“Schelling”:http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2005/10/schelling_and_a_1.html, “Aumann”:http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2005/10/robert_aumann_n.html). Schelling’s work is probably the better known of the two outside of economics, because in addition to being excellent it’s very readable. I use a chunk of his classic “Micromotives and Macrobehavior”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393090094/kieranhealysw-20/ref=nosim/ in my undergraduate social theory class, for instance. We read a bit of _The Wealth of Nations_ and then we read some Schelling, partly in order to get across the idea that co-ordination can be disaggregated and bottom-up process, and partly to see that markets are also a special case of a bigger class of co-ordination problems.

From an outsider’s perspective, and speculating a bit on the politics of it all, the result seems like an interestingly balanced way to mark the rise of game theory in economics. While Schelling’s work is analytically acute (and the man himself is famously sharp in discussion), it is not presented in a technical mode. You can sit down and read the essays. Aumann, on the other hand, represents a much more mathematized wing of the field, proving theorems and developing new conceptual tools with precise formal properties. So, for instance, while Schelling can write essays like “Strategic Relationships in Dying” and “The Mind as a Consuming Organ”, Aumann’s papers have titles like “The Bargaining Set for Cooperative Games” and “Subjectivity and Correlation in Randomized Strategies.” The prize committee has seemed to make these kind of balanced choices on other dimensions before, sometimes in consecutive years (Merton and Scholes followed by Sen) sometimes in the same year (Kahneman and Vern Smith).

On a side note, I’m not surprised to “learn from Tyler”:http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2005/10/schelling_and_a_1.html that Schelling was his mentor. You can see it in the way he thinks about problems.