This time strictly for Mac-users: The new syncing function in VoodooPad 4 is a bit cumbersome to set up, but otherwise a really, really cool feature.
1. A very promising call for papers: Economic Notes from Underground.
The impetus of the symposium is to provide an outlet for exploring preference falsification and other forms of moral or intellectual compromise within the economics profession. Authors are encouraged to be introspective and personal, and yet impartial. The purpose of each essay should be to share experiences that speak to situations to which many can relate. We seek biographical essays that will help others understand widely shared problems.
In his or her essay, the author should clarify the kind of preference falsification in which he or she has engaged. For example:
* Building models one does not really believe to be useful or relevant.
* Making simplifications that obscure or omit important things.
* Using data one does not really believe in.
* Focusing on the statistical significance of one’s findings while quietly doubting economic significance.
* Engaging in data mining.
* Drawing “policy implications” that one knows are inappropriate or misleading.
* Keeping the discourse “between the 40 yard lines” so as to avoid being outspoken; knowingly eliding fundamental issues.
* Tilting the flavor of policy judgments to make a paper more acceptable to referees, editors, publishers, or funders.
* Disguising one’s methodological or ideological views, such as by omitting revealing activities or publications from one’s vitae.
* For government, institute, or corporate economists: Having to significantly play along with things one does not believe in.
HT: Jeremy Freese.
So you thought, we lived in an ivory tower? You really did?
2. There is still room in the blogosphere according to Aaron Swartz, who would like to see someone start the following blogs:
The Wonk Wing: Thoughtful exploration of important policy issues by decent writers who are clearly fascinated by their subject. Not only would you get a first-class education in the relevant issues around health care, global warming, urban sprawl, zoning, traffic, sewage, etc. but you’d have fun while doing it. Think Ezra Klein for more than just health care. Think The Wonk Room but more Sorkin and less Pennebaker. (Sorry, Wonk Room!)
Perfect Devices: Coverage of things which are simply the best-in-the-world at what they do, and the stories of how they got there. I want stories from the people who calibrate bathroom-mirror lighting to be the perfect combination of brightness and diffusion “so that it’s diagnostically acute without being brutal” (ASFTINDA, 302). I want stories about the kitchen at French Laundry and Alinea. I want the start-to-finish story of HF&J designing a typeface. (Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting Objectified.)
17th and Pennsylvania: This is the address of the Starbucks outside the White House, where apparently executive branch officials regularly grab coffee, chat, and meet with a wide variety of famous-for-DC types. Why doesn’t an enterprising Gawker Stalker simply sit there and write down what happens?
This Academic Life: Stories of new papers and research results — not just a summary of the work itself, but the story of how it fits into the field’s debates, the personal intrigues of the players, the implications for the wider world. Basically, Lingua Fraca returning as a blog.
Evisceration Quarterly: A daily selection of the finest in insults, takedowns, and general argumentative evisceration. The motto: teaching you how to think by showing you how not to. And, to not be entirely negative, the occasional model of clarity. With special blogging consultant, Brad DeLong.
HT: Brad deLong.
Ambitious, right? And if it hadn’t been because our secretaries wanted us to schedule meetings etc. in Microsoft %&€##! Outlook, I probably wouldn’t have tried getting this to work, but as we all know, secretaries rule the world.
The problem was – and is – that I use a couple of Macs as my main computers and with the aid of MissingSync and some tweaks in iSync, I’ve also managed to keep a Palm (!) and a mobile phone updated. Crossing the Mac-Windows line is a bit more complicated – I know, I know: I could splash out some money for the latest edition of MS Office/Mac which in some versions should (finally) offer full compatibility with Exchange (or whatever) servers – which is where Google (the company which wants to hold every possible bit of information about you) enters the field. Going all-web would be okay, if you (I) was online all the time, but then there would still be the issue of bridging two different calendar systems.
Anyway, I’ve tried out Google’s version of the Swiss army knife: Synchronisation applications for iCal/Mac and Outlook/Windows. The result? The good news is that I seem to be able to synchronise my office desktop (Outloook/Win) with Google Calendar, even if I received some odd warnings. The iCal/Google C link was a bit more tricky as a) I could get my Google Calendars onto iCal, but I couldn’t synchronise my existing iCal calendars onto Google.
And as a special message for Nick Aylott: No, I can’t see a to-do list in all of this. Which is kind of strange and which limits the usability quite a bit.
Let us, for the sake of argument, assume that you – the reader of this blog – are a young and ambitious Liberal MP. You know, one of those people whose name has begun to appear when Christiansborg journalists gossip about the next reshuffe. And, boy, do Christiansborg journalists gossip about the next reshuffle.
And then the phone rings and the voice in the other end says:
Good afternoon, [insert appropriate first name], this is Anders (The Anders? Yes, the Anders). I’ve been very impressed with your work lately (lately???), and I think you will be just the right person to take over (yes, yes!, YES!!)…
At this point I should point out that newcomers rarely get the big offices at their first try, but you still have the option of such portfolios as development, consumer affairs, education or – if need be – taxes. And from there you can start the climb on your way to be the next Claus Hjorth Frederiksen or Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
Have you prepared your statement for the media? If not, here are some lines to start off with:
I’ve been active in politics for much of my adult life and as a Liberal MP since 1998/2001/2005, I have had a lot of good times and inspiring work. But now I feel it is the right time to move on and seek new challenges. Long nights at meetings has also meant that I’ve felt that I’ve occasionally neglected my family and I look forward to spending more time with my partner and children in the future.
Because, let’s be honest about it, being appointed Immigration Minister in Denmark is a fate worse than death.
I took a look at Global Voices Online which has a page aggregating stories about the Mumbai terror attacks and came across a rather troubling illustration:
As it turned out, Denmark fortunately hadn’t been the scene of a number of attacks but an advert for Danish cafés offering wifi connections for their customers – using a customised Google map – had somehow been mixed with the map of Mumbai (a recheck of the page brought the Mumbai map, in case you wonder).
Occasionally the ubiquitousness of Google can lead to strange results.