by Daniel on January 11, 2011

Just a quick post for CT readers who don’t also subscribe to John’s blog: he’s on the road and many miles from Brisbane at the moment (and so not flooded) and his family are OK, but apparently there’s property damage and flood damage is in my experience a real bugger to sort out, so probably not much blogging for a while. In the interim and because he hasn’t apparently posted about here (I found out when we met up for a pint on the Zombie Economics book tour), I will boast on his behalf that John has been elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society. That is a big deal. If you are not impressed by this, take my word for it that if you knew more about the professional structure of the economics profession you would be. Best of luck John.

Two Syllabuses

by Kieran Healy on January 11, 2011

In Spring a young man’s fancy turns to love. Rapidly aging academics such as myself, however, have to decide which readings to assign. This semester I’m teaching Organizations and Management to students in Duke’s MMS certificate program and Markets and Moral Order to a small group of seniors at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Both classes were a lot of fun last year (perhaps not for the students). I’ve rearranged the running order in the Orgs course a bit, as the flow was wrong last time.

If you think there’s something that absolutely has to be included in either course, I’m open to suggestions. But you’re not allowed to suggest something without also saying what I should drop in order to include it. Unlike the economy, a syllabus is not the sort of thing that you want to grow aggressively in order that everyone gets more and bigger slices of the whole.

Economic imperialism

by Henry Farrell on January 11, 2011

Over at his “other blog-digs”:http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/two-syllabuses/, Kieran is looking for suggestions for a course syllabus on Markets and Moral Order. By sheer coincidence, when browsing Daron Acemoglu’s “web page”:http://econ-www.mit.edu/faculty/acemoglu/paper today, out of curiosity to see how many new papers he had written this month, I noticed that Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson apparently had a piece that was directly on topic. It’s entitled a ‘Reply to the Revised (May 2006) version of David Albouy’s “The Colonial Origins of Comparitive Development: An Investigation of the Settler Morality Data.’ Sadly, the link seems to lead to a quite different (and rather duller) piece about death rates. Nor, despite some efforts, have I been able to establish precisely which instrumental variable Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson are using as a proxy for the morality of European settlers in Africa during the colonial period – presumably, this time it isn’t “mosquitoes”:https://crookedtimber.org/2007/11/13/one-economics/, despite the tempting analogies. Suggestions for possible such variables gratefully received in comments.

Adapting Gatsby plus Bert Lahr in Godot

by John Holbo on January 11, 2011

Provoked by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Matthew Yglesias ponders the difficulty adapting Gatsby, in the face of the looming 3D threat.

I agree this seems like a problem. But I think an awful lot of it has to do with the fact that Gatsby is basically crap, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why everyone disagrees with me about this. Yglesias quotes a typical bit:

Or consider: “some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness or forgot them and moved away.” How is it that Nick know for certain that Eckelburg isn’t practicing in Queens any longer but is unsure as to whether he’s moved or died?

I can answer that one. Fitzgerald is a bad writer.

Let me illustrate, by way of offering advice to aspiring 3D directors:

Usually her voice came over the wire as something fresh and cool, as if a divot from a green golf-links had come sailing in at the office window, but this morning it seemed harsh and dry.

Now that would work great in 3D! [click to continue…]