Friday, July 10, 2009

The ethnocentric trap

It is surprising to see the erudite and well-travelled Tyler Cowen say here

"Though Western society has experienced a widespread secularization, our versions of capitalism and democracy are still based squarely on Christian ideas, and I believe this marriage of liberalism and Christianity has been for the better. China and India, despite each having some number of Christians, have no realistic prospects for a comparable ideological accommodation between morals and markets...."

Eastern religions and philosophies give a lot of significance to the balance between these elements in day-to-day life.

The article is titled " Vaticanomics" .

[Typically Religions preach a lot of "wait-economics" on the lines of " it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Similar things in most religions. Sort of inverse proportionality between current wealth and future salvation.]

Yoga's West practices


"Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit verb yuj, to yoke or unite.

Ayogya :Beneath,inadequate,inappropriate,incapable,incompatible,incompetent,
inconsistent,inconvenient,inefficient,insufficient. (Source).


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Red Stimulus , Blue Stimulus

"So, here's a political psychology question. Why did opponents gullibly swallow the stimulus terminology, and thereby defeat? Any ideas?"

"What’s in a name—the political psychology of ‘stimulus’' by David Hirshleifer,

Many of the opponents of the current stimulus package were supporters of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 of President Bush. So stimulus has probably become a lingua franca.

(HT Marginal Revolution)

Who framed Roger Robot ?

Roger Federer Unbuttoned

by Roger Cohen here

Those who supported Nadal in last year's Wimbledon final probably did so because of Nadal by contrast is very human . Cohen is probably incorrect in characterising Federer as close to a robot ; he is more the dignified gentleman.

An earlier article by the late David Foster Wallace here(with some poetic license on a specific stroke).

Nadal as counter-point here.

Perhaps Federer is a Sirius , the brightest and predictable star and Nadal is a comet , brilliant , breath-taking and unpredictable in the "longer" scheme of things.

And an earlier generation will laud Laver who rightly said :"I don't think you can compare eras.You can be the dominant performer of your time..."

BasketBell Curve

In a normal distribution earlier we had the Bell curve.

Now we have the BasketBell Curve

The Overtime Spike in NBA Basketball by Jeff Ely


Over time , does the incidence of Overtime increase ?

There's a theory that this is the case under the current commissioner , David Stern.

( HT 6AM Pacific)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In the long run(s)

Cricket captain as psychoanalyst

Mike Brearley , former England Captain here.

Cricket captaincy ( specially in Tests) always seemed to be a more complex job compared to captaincy in any other sport . In Professional sports such as Baseball , American football the Manager or Coach has a significant contingent to advise on strategy . On the other hand , despite advice from fellow players , veterans etc. , a captain must pretty much understand , cajole , demand , strategise etc . Seems a very natural career progression.

More on Admin. costs

Ezra Klein here

(HT Marginal Revolution).

"The answers are that we do more stuff and have more technology...."

And no seriously ill patients ( or their relatives) want a cost-benefit analysis done on them.

And generally no American wants to or is allowed to " go gentle into that Good Night. "

More comprehensive than the blog posts.

A cricket fan could say : History is like Test matches , Journalism like one-dayers and Blogs are like Twenty-Twenty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

People hearing without listening

People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
----------------- ( Simon and Garfunkel)

A heated debate in the Blogosphere ( the "no"zone layer? Because all we say is NO) on Administrative costs of Medicare versus private insurance. Fascinating comments and discussion. At the end of it one wonders if viewpoints that people start with ever get changed : all read through the focal lens of ideology .

Mankiw on Robert Book's Heritage Foundation article here
Krugman's response.
Andrew Gelman here.
Tyler Cowen's take and further points
Megan McArdle here.