Methodological Arrogance


Most pertinent piece on the interdependence of micro and macro, extending the critique of micro foundations in macro…

Originally posted on Uneasy Money:

A few weeks ago, I posted a somewhat critical review of Kartik Athreya’s new book Big Ideas in Macroeconomics. In quoting a passage from chapter 4 in which Kartik defended the rational-expectations axiom on the grounds that it protects the public from economists who, if left unconstrained by the discipline of rational expectations, could use expectational assumptions to generate whatever results they wanted, I suggested that this sort of reasoning in defense of the rational-expectations axiom betrayed what I called the “methodological arrogance” of modern macroeconomics which has, to a large extent, succeeded in imposing that axiom on all macroeconomic models. In his comment responding to my criticisms, Kartik made good-natured reference in passing to my charge of “methodological arrogance,” without substantively engaging with the charge. And in a post about the early reviews of Kartik’s book, Steve Williamson, while crediting me for at least reading the book before…

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North Korea in Hideous Distortion


Interesting, with some great photos..

Originally posted on From Swerve of Shore:


Never before or since my short trip to North Korea have I felt so perplexed about the realities of a country. It’s easy to know certain things: it’s a hermit nation, it’s citizens have little to no access to the outside world, it’s been run by a family of despots since the end of the Korean War, and it seemingly revels in its own bad behavior, taunting the world but stopping just short of biting the hands that feed it. But like all things worth exploring, what’s on the surface can be a very shallow reflection of the place as a whole.

During my few days in country, I met some of the nicest, most intelligent people I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with. North Koreans, born and raised. They would talk to me about the US’s foreign policies, about Vietnam’s peculiar brand of communism, and about many other…

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Reasons To Be Cheerful


This will cheer you up!

Originally posted on Becky Says Things:

Oh, brave Listener. We’ve all had a bit of a rough time recently.

There are several reasons why we are all feeling a bit peeved, irked, and somewhat vexed:

1) It is February. February is an obnoxiously depressing month, it knows it, and it doesn’t care. February is insufferable.

2) We are still paying off our Christmas credit card bills. This is intolerable.

3) Our New Year’s resolution diet and exercise regimes have failed miserably and we are eating more doughnuts, peanut butter, and full fat milk than ever before to cope with the depression of February and Christmas credit card bills.


4) The couples amongst us have had a relationship-busting argument on Valentine’s Day, and the singletons amongst us have just been reminded that they are SINGLE and ALONE and destined to remain that way for the rest of their sorry lives.

5) There is nothing to look forward…

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Venezuela, Here Is My Voice


In all the heat and mess of Syria and Ukraine, don’t forget Venezuela…

Originally posted on bvgonzal:

A very close SU friend from Venezuela told me one of her friends from home was murdered today. I have been preparing for some days to write this post, and I have asked many fellow SU students if they know about the situation in Venezuela and most people have no idea. This gave me even more motivation, so I would like to share with you the terrible reality that is going on in Venezuela.

Venezuela has been facing economic, social and security problems, among others, caused by the corrupt Venezuelan government. More than 90% of the murders in Venezuela go unpunished. On February 12, Venezuela’s national youth day, students were tired of the injustice and corruption in their country caused by the government, so they started a peaceful riot for their rights. These students were unarmed; they carried flags, cameras, signs and flowers. The police force reacted aggressively and attacked…

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If Conversation Were Chemistry


This is great fun!

Originally posted on The Outer Hoard:

Today’s blog post is for the geeks. Seriously, if you don’t think frequency analysis for its own sake can be fun, you probably won’t enjoy this much.

Stan Carey has a blog post about the length of the chemical name of the largest known protein, considered as though it were a word. It takes three and a half hours to read aloud, so it would easily be the longest word in the English language were it not for the fact that it doesn’t count.

I decided to play around, so I started by taking the chemical name, and (after removing hyphens/whitespace from raw text) ran it through a character frequency analyser. This told me that the letter L occurs 14645 times, accounting for 22.9% of the text. At the low end, the letter D occurs a measly 238 times, which is just 0.4%. Letters not present at…

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Andreas Umland: Yanukovych & Co. are paying well the special units in uniforms, and armed gangs without uniforms. They will be doing their jobs as long as the money flows


And this is Europe, 2014..

Originally posted on Voices of Ukraine:

Andreas Umland: Yanukovych & Co. are paying well the special units in uniforms, and armed gangs without uniforms. They will be doing their jobs as long as the money flows


Many in Ukraine will know well the following, but some in the West may not understand the nature of the armed confrontation in Kyiv: The issue in Ukraine is not any longer that a country’s President or Ministers are ordering this or that, and then the police or others are following the government’s orders (or not).

Yanukovych & Co. are apparently paying well the special units in uniforms, and armed gangs without uniforms who are beating, torturing and killing people. These men are mercenaries who use various weapons against both unarmed and armed demonstrators, probably, depending on the pay they receive. They will be doing their jobs as long as the money flows. All that has not…

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How to make economics a realist and relevant science

Originally posted on LARS P. SYLL:

As yours truly has reported repeatedly lately, university students all over Europe are increasingly beginning to question if the kind of economics they are taught — mainstream neoclassical economics — really is of any value. Some have even started to question if economics really is a science. Two Nobel laureates in economics — Robert Shiller and Paul Krugman — have responded.

This is Robert Shiller‘s view:

Critics of “economic sciences” sometimes refer to the development of a “pseudoscience” of economics, arguing that it uses the trappings of science, like dense mathematics, but only for show. For example, in his 2004 book Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb said of economic sciences: “You can disguise charlatanism under the weight of equations, and nobody can catch you since there is no such thing as a controlled experiment” …

My belief is that economics is somewhat more vulnerable than the physical sciences…

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