Friday, May 13, 2011

Quotes of the day

Now who would have been more astonished? Aristotle confronted with Martin Gardner’s calculator, or the Martin Gardner of 1975 confronted with my iPhone? I’m going to say it’s a close call.--Steve Landsburg

In a dynamic setting, …financial innovation always reduces the average variance in the long run because traders learn from past asset payoffs. A question emerges as to how new assets should be introduced to minimize their short run impact on the speculative variance. I show that staggering (or delaying) the introduction of new assets is not effective because it reduces traders’ learning simultaneously with their speculation. A viable alternative is to set temporary position limits (or taxes) on new assets.--Alp Simsek

Not many people want to vote for a candidate who says, “I really am not sure how to improve schools in our area, so I plan to pilot half a dozen ideas, and we’ll keep the one or two that we can prove to have worked.” But the other guy – the one who claims he does know – isn’t telling us the truth about uncertainty and failure. He’s just telling us what we want to hear.--Tim Harford

The woman who was apparently selectively hard to get, i.e. easy for you but hard for everyone else was the runaway winner for the men. Not only that but men thought the selectively hard to get woman would have all the advantages of the easy to get woman with none of the drawbacks of the hard to get woman. They thought she would be popular, warm and easygoing, but not demanding and difficult.--Jeremy Dean

You have to consult. Bad women's comedies are made by men who didn't consult enough women.--Paul Feig

Despite various limitations in data and tools, it should be noted that applying a scientific process is essential if one is to overcome the lack of rigor inherent in attribution claims that are all too often based on mere coincidental associations.--National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Memo to suburban voucher opponents who 'support public education': you're already sending your kid to private school. You're just confused because your tuition fees came bundled with granite countertops and hardwood floors.--Megan McArdle

Circa 2080, imagine a world with two classes, the very rich and the fairly poor. The very rich pay thirty percent of their $1 million a year incomes on health care. The fairly poor earn $100,000 a year. How are we supposed to roughly equalize health care consumption? Does it make sense to give the fairly poor 3/4 of their real income ($300,000 out of a total of $100,000 cash plus $300,000 health care benefits) in the form of health care benefits? And could we enforce that with a mandate + subsidy? Probably not. Of course both health care costs and income inequality have been rising in this country. It is a critical question — and one which remains unanswered — at which margins these problems kick in decisively. Under “Medicaid for everybody plus private cash top-offs,” this same problem does not arise, but there is also less egalitarian redistribution. I would favor that blend over a mandate.--Tyler Cowen
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