Public Notes


Recent Activity

  • Andrew shared from Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey
    When a stable though tyrannical country like China or a turbulent though law-governed country like India started to revalue markets and innovation, and to give a partial liberty to commerce, the food and housing and education for the average person commenced exploding.
    Note: but which comes first? the cultural shift or the legal one?
  • Andrew shared from Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey
    Speech, not material changes in foreign trade or domestic investment, caused proximally the nonlinearities, or (expressed in more conventional theorizing) the leaping out of the production possibility curve, the imaginings of possible lives. We know this empirically in part because trade and investment were ancient routines, but the new dignity and liberty for ordinary people were unique to the age. What was unique was a new climate of persuasion, out there in the shops and streets and coffeehouses populated by the bourgeoisie. As I shall try to persuade you, oh materialist economist.
    Note: this is the core argument. should be difficult to prove.
  • Andrew shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    “groupidity”: doing something stupid because other people around you seem to think it’s safe.
    Note: Rand Simberg calls this "emergent stupidity"
  • Andrew shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    For all the finger-pointing about its failure to change, the company tried more turnarounds than an all-night Macarena marathon.
    Note: classic Megan McArdle simile.
  • Andrew shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    There is one place where kids can go to learn to fail the right way: a place where they are rewarded for effort and persistence, for tackling new challenges, failing at them over and over, and then finally prevailing. That place is their video game console.
    Note: heh.
  • Andrew shared from The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
    His victims were seduced by what you might call the technocratic fallacy: the idea that someone who is sufficiently smart and dedicated can engineer the risk out of the system. This gives us a nice, warm cozy feeling. And that nice, warm cozy feeling is the most dangerous sensation we can have.
    Note: true dat
  • Andrew shared from Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France by Kermit Lynch
    I wish wine could be a constitutionally protected form of expression, to keep it out of the hands of pressure groups, politicians, hysterical moralists, and joy-enders. We risk screwing up what is actually a very complex, delicate thing. The more rules and regulations there are, the less chance there will be to import those two or three barrels of handcrafted natural wine. The advantage will belong to the factory operations, with their thousands of cases of processed wine and their well-equipped office staffs which will permit them to cope with costly, time-consuming, bureaucratic requirements....
    Note: this is true of most regulations. it cuts off both tails nd lowers the mean.
  • Andrew shared from Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France by Kermit Lynch
    But keep an eye on the wine critics’ ratings. If a wine is black, packs an alcoholic, tannic wallop, and smells like a lumberyard, it receives high points.
    Note: heh.
  • Andrew shared from Captive Audience by Susan P. Crawford
    Americans can work on another idea that is as old as the electrical cooperative: encouraging towns and municipalities to oversee their own open-access, nondiscriminatory, fast fiber networks. When it comes to bringing high-speed Internet access to all Americans, the country cannot afford to fail.
    Note: wow. my kindle says i am 61% of the way through Susan's book, but i just hit the end notes.
(Princeton, NJ)
Andrew P. Hofer