- Serious fight on evolutionary theory ground. The bulk of evolutionary theorists seem to be set on taking Nowak et al to the guillotine, but there is also a small minority of fans: among them, my former Tinbergen Institute colleague Matthijs van Veelen (see a picture of him from when he was older, wiser, sporting a big white beard; NB: yours truly is the junior black-and-yellow fellow at his left, learning on the job) and his co-authors have a nice correspondence in Nature supporting Novak et al.
- Seinfeld’s spongeworthy Elaine, an unusual, limited-purpose –but very thorough– option theory application, by the one and only Avinash Dixit.
- All passé now, but hopefully you did pick your favorite Cupid.
- New academic econ world order… but only if you fail to control for the quality of the journals those papers are published in (my conjecture is that if you take only the top 5-10 journals, the US-EU average gap actually widened).
I believe it is the first time since I know it– though it might well be first time ever–that Wine Spectator’s top 10 is dominated by New World wines. The winner is Saxum, James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007, “[a]n amazing wine, dense, rich and layered, offering a mix of power and finesse, with concentrated dark berry fruit, mineral, sage, herb and cedar notes that are pure, intense, focused and persistent. → Read more
To start with the last item in the title, it wasn’t to be for The Netherlands… a third World Cup final wasted. Mais, c’est la vie. However, even though I predicted wrongly the winner in the very last game, I still managed to eventually rank 411th among 497,206 participants worldwide, in the Castrol’s FIFA World Cup Predictor Challenge. → Read more
Gelman writes a useful overview on causality and statistical learning (caveat lector: I have only read through Angrist and Pischke’s book, among the three Gelman mentiones; that one is very well written, but aimed at junior graduate students at best: hence, the book’s tag “an empiricist’s companion” is overselling it; and that has nothing to do with Josh Angrist kindly “advising” me to change my PhD topic/focus, sometime in my beginning graduate years, because ‘nobody serious would be interested in structural modelling’ :-)).
Right, almost two months since my visit to Atlanta, hence high time to wrap up and conclude.Briefly on Atlanta itself: ultimately not that appealing a city. In fact, probably the least interesting city I have visited in USA so far (caveat lector: I have deliberately avoided stuff a priori known to be dull), bar San Antonio, Texas (which might have changed since my trip there in ’04, but I doubt it). → Read more
… although still more than 6 hours to go of ’09, here, in Chicago. Where I have already discovered (in Devon Market; all credits to Daniel) an interesting range of rather decent Romanian wines (eventually I have settled for a Feteasca Regala from Jidvei and, something special for tonight– I am very curious!– a Dracula’s Blood Merlot). → Read more
4 hours inside a KLM/Malev plane that just wouldn’t take off at Schiphol (after 2 extra hours of waiting for the– eventually, wrong– plane to arrive); a (involuntary, for a change) night spent in beautiful but frozen Budapest (helped by the fact that my friend Balint was very inspired for the dinner suggestion; even the house white wine was very decent!– though nothing like my favourite Hungarian white); quality time the next day (inter alia, absolutely great mushroom soup and venison with juniper berries, for lunch!) spent with my good old friend, master of all things Budapest, Daniel, while waiting for the uncertainty concerning trains towards Cluj to be resolved; and partly resolved it was after endless hours, although they forgot to provide a 1st class (they were considerate enough to give me a full 2nd class compartment instead, all the 8 hours long trip…enough time to go through quite a few Econometrica articles, tons of coffee, and a number of jazz and classical music albums…); but, finally, Transylvania it is, for the last couple of days: great feeling to be home. → Read more