Thursday, October 28, 2010

Assault of Thoughts - 8/28/2010

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

- First, Krugman and Keynes were featured on the Colbert Report on Tuesday (at about 1:25). Colbert points to Krugman's lesser known New York Times feature, "Krugman's Kidz Korner". I believe that shot of Keynes is taken from a picture from the Bretton Woods Conference - it looks quite similar, at least.

- It's been a little while since I've been mentioned by name in a Cafe Hayek post, but here Don writes "Daniel Kuehn will not like my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in which I criticize modern macroeconomists’ – and, particularly, Keynesians’ – naive aggregates." It's kind of a funny article. Basically he says economists can't make predictions like other scientists. I agree that economists have weaker predictive powers, but no weaker than, say, a biologist. I don't know why Austrians are so obsessed with the physics/astronomy metaphor. There are other memes crammed in the article as well - in simpler words, he essentially makes the case that I often do on here, that "accounting identities aren't behavioral laws". I'm not sure what he expects me to disagree with there. The comments on Don's post act as if this is some kind of mystery to Keynesians - again, I'm not sure why. He ends on a pretty flimsy critique of aggregates, when what I really think he ought to be doing is critiquing the misuse of aggregates.

- This summer Kate and I visited Vint Hill Winery, where customers could design their own barrel of wine. It seemed like an interesting (if expensive) way to get involved in the winemaking process. A London entrepreneur is trying to do the same thing remotely - letting people design wine over the internet, and implementing the winemaking it robotically. She's running into some legal roadblocks right now. It seems to take away a lot of the point of winemaking, but even if you just look at it as "made to order wine", it's a pretty cool idea (HT Tyler Cowen).


  1. As I mentioned in the comments over at Cafe Hayek: macroeconomists who make use of aggregates in ways that Don disagrees with are not ignorant of the point he makes in the column. If macroeconomists continue nonetheless, then the real point of contention between Don and them is not the matter addressed in the column. I am not sure I know what the real disagreement concerns, but I know it has nothing to do with Don's column.

  2. Ya - those were good points you made. I tried to "like" them, but something wasn't working with the system.

  3. The lack of specific examples in the post was telling. To much over there is fueled by vague allusions.

  4. My wife and I are getting a divorce. Which really blows. Sorry, it is the only thing I have on my mind at this point.

    Funny Colbert bit though.

  5. Hey, what's on your mind is on your mind - nothing to apologize for. Sorry about that, Xenophon. I hope things work out as best they can for you.

  6. "It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." - Dale Carnegie


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