And that’s the original problem with the Reinhart-Rogoff study that everyone is now piling on. It was widely used to draw big conclusions about whether or when countries should pivot to austerity, even though it was a relatively thin data set.
But in the world of macro, sometimes that is the best we have. And the fact that this study was flawed shouldn’t dissuade academics from doing the hard, messy work of trying to parse the past to try to create a world in which economies crash as rarely as jumbo jets do.
Miss Munn shared the judges’ scores with her students once she received them from the central authorities in the mail. I recall as if it were yesterday when she reported to me the results of my first judging: Twelve positive checks and zero negative checks. I was thrilled—I had set a goal of being perfect, and I had been. Miss Munn’s comments on my perfect score, however, were unexpected. She said, I’m very pleased with the number of positives, but I’m concerned that you had no negatives. What? What could be better than perfection? She continued by pointing out that my zero negative score was reflective, not of perfection, but of a strong sense of perfectionism that is not desirable in an aspiring pianist (or anywhere else, I suspect). By being so concerned with not making any mistakes, I had closed off the possibility of additional positive checks only available if one is willing to take risks.
I don’t remember exactly how I processed Miss Munn’s unexpected reaction to my perfect score, but I must have taken it to heart. My score on next year’s judging was twenty-seven positive checks, three negative checks. At least at the piano, I’d begun to learn that growth and excellence begin with embracing imperfection.
A great reminder that red and blue states don’t really exist. At best, that red state/blue state divide is an over-simplification, which appeals to our tendency towards binary thinking. Our desire to easily categorize everything, even when nuance would be more desirable. Via “This Is the Real Political Map of America—We Are Not That Divided“ on Gizmodo
Hubs that lack resilience create cascades of collateral damage when they fail. Over time, they will be bypassed and replaced by more resilient alternatives.
The turmoil in Mexico is spreading to Central America and beginning to seep over the border into the United States. One would think that such a national security problem would merit some attention from the incumbent president and the man who aims to replace him.
The really huge and important and urgent issue facing the US right now is the problem of unemployment, and specifically of long-term unemployment. A plan to stabilize the debt would be a welcome thing; we could get a lot of the way there by capping deductions, a la Romney, and then putting in a few Pigovian taxes on things we don’t want, like carbon emissions or high-frequency trading. And if you want to strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, then one way of doing that is to go the European route and pay for them with a VAT. But nobody is suggesting that as an option.
In any case, both the global economy and the US economy are very fragile right now, and every central banker in the world is begging for help from fiscal policymakers. Which is to say, higher deficits, not lower ones.
The potential impact of additive manufacturing is huge. We’re not talking about the creation of thousands of new jobs; we’re talking about the creation of thousands of new businesses to the country that leads in this new wave of manufacturing. It promises to transform industry much like Henry Ford’s Assembly Line transformed the modern manufacturing plant… perhaps even more so.
Quartz is arguing that a well-educated audience is capable of understanding the world as a whole and acting upon that knowledge. What this audience needs is not the “monitoring of beats” but help in “making sense of the world.” Public accountability comes not from staking out a beat, but from helping members of the public understand how complex things fit together. Because they understand how the world works, citizens will be able to act democratically in new ways. And when the important issues in the world change, than the focus of coverage will likewise shift.
This rocky desert outcrop in a cobalt blue sky isn’t what it appears. It’s actually an electron microscope image of layered titanium-based compounds.
It’s also the 2011 People’s Choice photography award winner of the International Science and Engineering Visualization…
If your blogging or writing doesn’t increase the degree of trust among people who do not agree with each other, probably you are lowering the chance for better policy, not increasing it, no matter what you perceive yourself as saying.