Quotes & Links #70

1) theguardian.com: Georg Baselitz: why art’s great shock merchant has set his sights on opera
I don’t necessarily agree with his view that women can’t paint, but I do wonder where are women the most successful? Literature? Music? Hmm.

2) qz.com: The world’s best airport has a horticulture team, a butterfly garden, and 500,000 plants

The airport features a butterfly garden, an orchid garden with a koi pond, and an “enchanted garden” that combines flowers and soft ferns with sculptures and sparkling lights.

Not surprised to see Seoul being nr. 2. I doubt something like that would be build in Germany, and, while it’s beautiful, it’s also not really necessary and maybe even a waste of money.

3) afinetheorem.wordpress.com: The Economics of John Nash
Probably the best post on Nash’s academic contributions I’ve read so far.

4) fightstate.com: Muay Thai Fighter Suspended For Illegal Titanium Shin Implants in Chiang Mai
Yes, somehow that feels a little bit unfair. ;)

5) nytimes.com: John F. Nash Jr., Math Genius Defined by a ‘Beautiful Mind,’ Dies at 86

He later said that he had simply decided that he was going to return to rationality. “I emerged from irrational thinking, ultimately, without medicine other than the natural hormonal changes of aging,” he wrote in an email to Dr. Kuhn in 1996.

And here’s the Washington Post’s post on Nash: An interview with Sylvia Nasar.

6) buzzfeed.com: China’s Ingenious Online Dating Scams Put Ours To Shame

The woman then contacts a lonely heart over Jiayuan and convinces him to take her on a date to the expensive restaurant, where she runs up an enormous tab. According to the study, these dates can cost anywhere from $100 to $2,000. Afterward, of course, the bilked bachelor never hears from his date again.

Ouch. Well, $100 is fine, I guess. First dates in Germany can get that expensive as well.

7) farnamstreetblog.com: The Buffett Formula — How To Get Smarter

When asked how to get smarter, Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said “read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”

I agree. As Buffet says it also matters what kind of books or papers you read. Reading a novel will most likely not make you smarter, reading too many books of the same topics will only give you marginal returns. I think reading academic papers might be the best way to get smarter and stay smart (even if most of them are horribly written and contain lots of gibberish).

8) johnhcochrane.com: Homo economicus or homo paleas?

If you want to figure out the effect of prices on tomato demand, the absurdly simplified rational maximizer approach gives a darn good answer. If you want to figure out where to put the signs advertising a tomato sale, or what color to draw them, let me suggest some psychology.

I’m not too scared of “paternalism”, but I also don’t think that behaviourism gets rational choice theory right (interestingly, they have no incentive to do so. Thaler should be an exception though). I really enjoyed Nudge and will definitely read “Misbehaving” some day.

9) themoneyillusion.com: Seeing Lu Mountain
Scott Sumner quotes this Brad DeLong post. It’s an interesting discussion because I recently finished two books which talked a bit about the financial crisis (Nate Silver’s “The Signal & the Noise” and Paul Krugmans “Depression Economics”) and especially Krugmans explanation seemed to miss something.


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