"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK
- Obama is allowing more states to opt-out of NCLB (HT - Scott Johnson). This is very good. Now he needs to do the same with health reform. If the federal government has a decent idea about how to provide for the general welfare, that's great. Go for it. But they should not overestimate their abilities. Allowing flexibility from the states on these initiatives and not just allowing but encouraging experimentation and learning from best practices is important.
- Krugman talks about what is essentially Keynes's version of the liquidity trap. So if you're interested in the difference between what Krugman has been calling a liquidity trap for the last several years and Keynes's version of it, this might interest you.
- Dimitri Medvedev just significantly increased his likelihood of staying out of prison, or at least living out the decade.
- xkcd on that zippy little neutrino. It does a good job framing paradigm shifts. Paradigm shifts do involve a complete rethinking of some aspect of theory. But this headline characteristic of paradigm shifts obscures another important characteristic: many paradigm shifts don't only shift - they generalize what we realize are special theories. It's wrong to say Newton was "overthrown" by Einstein. If Newton was "wrong" most of what we know about engineering wouldn't work. So when we say that we came around to the idea that Newtonian physics was "wrong" we need to be careful about what we're implying by that. The comic makes the same point about Einstein and this neutrino.
Procrastinating on January 23, 2017
8 hours ago