George Vescey of the New York Times pays a lovely tribute to Lance Armstrong's career.
What would Michael Kelly have said about the "Plamegate"? Twelve years ago Kelly wrote, "Washington has become a strange and debased place, the true heart of a national culture in which the distinction between reality and fantasy has been lost, a culture that has produced Oliver Stone as a historian, Joe McGinniss as a biographer, Geraldo Rivera as a journalist, Leonard Jeffries as a geneticist, and Barbara Streisand as an authority on national policy."
Fortunately, Mark Steyn is still with us, and he has a few choice words on the subject.
The New York Times tells us about Apgar, Homes, Every Good Boy Does Fine, and ''Never lower Tillie's pants. Mother might come home."
I haven't listened to any of them yet, but they look interesting: Radio Economics, interviews with economists via podcast. (Link via Ben Muse.)
Alex at Marginal Revolution observes that pharmeceutical policy in Myanmar is more sensible than it is here in the United States. I agree: the costs of the current regulated regime are huge.
After W. fixes the Middle East and Social Security, we should push for him to fix the FDA.
Just came across this spot-on observation about university course syllabi:
Over the years I’ve noticed that, in line with other manifestations of writing in English studies, course syllabi have gone from two page lists of reading assignments to forty page paragraphs of confessions, entreaties, threats, deals, praise, riddles, riffs. Some of these things look more like Math syllabi than English, given how popular the business of breaking grades down into smaller and smaller increments has become (“Students will receive 3.2% for attendance; 15.8% for contribution to discussion...”). Perhaps it’s because many universities now require professors to put copies of all of their syllabi (and assignments; and exams) in their Annual Review packet, but a decision seems to have been made that in lieu of a tenure manuscript a book-length syllabus will do.
And an NRO columnist makes some pointed remarks about current Higher Education:
This climate of enforced homogeneity produces a striking intellectual torpor that’s most unbecoming in a supposed place of higher learning. It also produces grotesque intellectual defects akin to the physical defects one often finds among the chronically inbred. After decades of hearing nothing but their own ideas echoing back at them — of seldom having their logic challenged — many of my tenured colleagues had come to believe some pretty strange things: Suffice it to say that almost everything in American affairs was linked to some conspiracy theory, most of which were linked to the Oval Office (but only during Republican administrations).
Jason Williams, former Duke star, is going to try to make it back to the NBA this year. He made a mistake and he's paid dearly for it. But it sounds like he's got an excellent attitude and a good chance. I wish him the best of luck.
Very useful post at The Astute Blogger: a list of a full two dozen "idiotic phony scandals they've [the Left and the mainstream media] trumped up in an attempt to smear our president". (Link via my wife.)
Among the things economists are notorious for in academia is our intense--close to obsessive--interest in rankings. Rankings of journals, of particular papers, of individual economists, and of departments. (This assertion should be backed by some citations, but I don't want to make time to find them. Just trust me.) So I figured it was just a matter of time until someone produced a detailed ranking of economics blogs. Especially since I invited my many millions of readers to produce one over a year ago.
But I haven't seen one. And a few minutes spent Googling suggests that there isn't one. So I guess it falls to me to begin this neglected but vitally important task.
What follows are preliminary rankings of economics blogs, computed in four different ways. Lest anybody take these rankings too seriously, after presenting them I"ll discuss eight big, big limitations on the methods and data used.
Ranking 1, using data from BlogPulse. BlogPulse is useful and fun. It claims to have identified 14.2 million--and counting--blogs.
|Econ Rank||Blog||BlogPulse Rank|
|6||The Becker-Posner Blog||525|
|7||Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal||552|
|13||Mises Economics Blog||1430|
|15||Adam Smith Institute||1603|
|18||A Constrained Vision||2085|
|19||Truck and Barter||2106|
|22||General Glut's Globblog||2606|
|23||Cold Spring Shops||2852|
|25||Division of Labor||3098|
|26||William J. Polley||3212|
|29||The Sports Economist||5516|
|31||The Liberal Order||7038|
|32||Peter Gordon's Blog||9454|
Four fine posts from economics blogs:
Tino at Truck and Barter declares that policy on Global Warming should use two types of science: climatology and economics.
Professor James Hamilton patiently and clearly explains that causal relationships in cross-sectional data can be different from causal relationships in time series data. With some interesting comments. (Link via EconLog.)
KipEsquire--"a lawyer who doesn't practice, an investment banker who does no deals, an academic who doesn't teach, and a policy wonk who belongs to no think tank"--discusses Amtrak and tartly concludes: "So we need (taxpayer-subsidized) Amtrak because people have no options, but we also want to tweak the service (and charge more for it), because people, um, have options. Go figure." (Link via The Eclectic Econoclast.)
Finally, Professor Hamilton again, responding to the proponents of the "peak oil" hypothesis:
But here's where I get stuck. What I see many of you then in effect concluding is something along the lines of the following:
If markets are not perfect, then we should put no faith in them.
This strikes me as a very inappropriate conclusion to draw from that kind of evidence.
I'll second that!