Control freaks

I keep wondering how can there be such a mixture of (not always) good (sometimes excellent!) economic policies (far better than most ‘opposition’ in the USA advocate- and that’s one problem there: the alternative might be worse, in overall terms), but absolutely insane ‘political’ ones (eventually leading to bad economic outcomes as well…), interfering with private life/ choice and meant to control, there is this obsession with controlling each and everybody’s activities, thoughts etc., for the ‘sake of security’, in the USA (unfortunately even amazing thinkers- in general- like Gary Becker and Richard Posner- sustain some tradeoffs between privacy and security in this respect- I think all that is sheer nonsense and simply shows incapacity of the government, who, let’s not forget, is supposed to serve their people, not to control them; if one is an Economist one should recall Milton Friedman’s position on all that– Ave Milton, morituri te salutant!).  → Read more

Nude inspiration (with an application to Romania)

Since our Romanian mass-media (well, the ‘education’ department from Gandul) are launching a great moral offensive against nudity (public or academic nudity, to be exact), here’s some interesting material on nudity and (great) inspiration. Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Benjamin Franklin, Agatha Christie etc: pick your favourite (writer, not nude…).  → Read more

Comisie prezidentiala pentru analiza si elaborarea politicilor din domeniile educatiei si cercetarii

Din cand in cand mai auzim si vesti excelente legate de Romania si- chiar- de politica ei (citit astazi pe site-ul Ad-Astra). Cel putin la o prima vedere. Raman sceptic referitor la intentiile si abilitatile domnului Basescu (un scepticism diferit de cel al lui Octavian Paler insa, ar trebui sa se subinteleaga…), dar cu asemenea initiative creste mult in ochii mei.  → Read more

Dezbatere privind cercetarea din Romania (I)

Vad ca Ad-Astra a prins un asemenea ritm incat cu greu mai pot tine pasul cu citirea ultimelor stiri/analize de pe site-ul lor! Astazi Razvan a postat pe site-ul Ad-Astra o serie de articole aparute in presa despre reformele necesare din cercetarea stiintifica de la noi, carora unii li se opun prin orice mijloace (apelul adresat mediei plus/minus o abatere standard- apropos, excelent comentariul lui Daniel David aici!- fiind ceva ce respectivii practica des).  → Read more

Peter van Bergeijk to publicly “criticise” me (in Dutch)

Seemingly some Dutch economists in Holland – who don’t necessarily know me- are suddenly very concerned about my spending too much time on the internet (TRUE- but nothing to do about this, I have to be in touch with what happens in the world) and particularly about my apparently doing everything (read: putting too much effort and energy to the expense of my research time) to promote my website in the top most visited pages within the category “economie-nederland” on webstats4u (WRONG- the fact that webstats4u does not have a mechanism to block your own visits is nothing to blame on me- I decided nonetheless not to use my webpage as browser homepage anylonger, just to satisfy these criticisms and to show that I could not care less if I were in the top of the most visited economics pages in the Netherlands or not…).  → Read more