Friday, August 13, 2010

Assault of Thoughts - 8/13/2010

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK

- Yglesias can irk me when he talks monetary policy, but this was good: “A lot of skeptical discussion of temporarily targeting a higher inflation rate seems to me to partake of a lack of appropriate historical perspective on what that would mean. If the Fed produced several years in a row of four percent inflation, wouldn’t that mean we’d all be carrying our money around in wheelbarrows? That’s not how I remember growing up in the eighties”

- So who exactly besides Greg Mankiw has been impressed with Casey Mulligan’s argument for why aggregate demand isn’t an issue? Mark Thoma and Tim Duy certainly aren’t convinced. Maybe it’s because I’m putting the finishing touches on this 1920-21 paper, but I’m seeing this a lot lately: people who think they have the masterstroke test to assess Keynesianism. Most of it is rubbish. That's not at all to say that Keynesianism is self-evident. It's simply to say that you likely don't have the masterstroke you think you have.

- Evan talks about Islamic theology in German universities. The comment by Sam is especially good, and provides good context by talking about the position of Turkish Muslims in German society. I was thinking something along those lines too. He sort of comes across as criticizing Evan for not talking about what he would have talked about, which isn't entirely fair, but the context is good nevertheless.

- For Friday the 13th, National Geographic shares a lot of the myths and superstitions around the number and the day. Lot's of these are new to me. Time Magazine presents a very interesting economics related Friday the 13th story:

"The number's association with Friday, however, didn't take hold until the 20th century [this isn't true according to a few other sources I looked at]. In 1907, eccentric Boston stockbroker Thomas Lawson published a book called Friday the Thirteenth, which told of an evil businessman's attempt to crash the stock market on the unluckiest day of the month. Thanks to an extensive ad campaign, the book sold well: nearly 28,000 copies within the first week. In 1916 the book was turned into a feature-length silent film.

Wall Street's superstitions about Friday the 13th continued through 1925, when the New York Times noted that people "would no more buy or sell a share of stock today than they would walk under a ladder or kick a black cat out of their path." Some stock traders also blamed Black Monday — Oct. 19, 1987 — on the fact that three Fridays fell on the 13th that year."
And the technical name for the fear of Friday the 13th? Friggatriskaidekaphobia.

1 comment:

  1. Thought I would pass this a long in light of the conversations we had about religion, etc. a month or so ago:


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