Of economists, economics, and of course, Tuesday crosswords  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in , ,

To start: Divshare was annoying yesterday, so I held off posting a birthday song for Mom. Here's Smokey Robinson with My Soul Responding, which opens with a dreamy rendition of Happy Birthday.

Some very interesting news stories today.

Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz takes on His Ex-Holiness Alan Greenspan in the Shanghai Daily.
For more on tax cuts and the sub-prime, click here.

Greg Mankiw (author of two of my college textbooks) takes a question from a reader. In part:

I'm a resident at one of the Harvard hospitals. In the past couple of years I've had the chance to attend a number of inter-disciplinary seminars where you have statisticians, physicians, sociologists, anthropologists, epidemiologists and economists present. I've been impressed with what your discipline has to say: in virtually every seminar the economists are able to say something useful. Without inflating your ego, I've also noticed that the economists present better papers and are less likely to be caught off-guard in a seminar. They are also more likely to discover problems in the work of others. I've been trying to educate myself on the economic way of thinking by reading your blog, Freakonomics, and now, by slowly reading your textbook.

For the rest of the question, asking why economists are so aggressive, etc. go to Dr. Mankiw's blog here.

Harvard's Political Economy chair Dani Rodrik looks at why economists disagree so often. His response is that most disagreements break down at a fundamental level: how the economist feels about The Fundamental Theorum of Welfare Economics. For Dr. Rodrik's discussion of "first-best" and "second-best" economists, look here.

And in the crossword today, I got stumped late by a Tuesday. Boo.

Theme answers (Clue: Doofus):

* 4D: NUMSKULL - I would have spelled this NUMBSKULL...
* 55A: NOODLEHEAD - Noodlehead??

It took me ten minutes, plus a minute or so for a typo, which turned out to be just a mistake. I was unfamiliar with ARETES, and not quite getting Chicken TENDERS. A major part of the problem was that I had ETA instead of "Airline stat" ETD. So arbitrary. Also, Hebrew months are cheap.

Oh, I forgot the most annoying part. After six theme "doofus" answers, 63D, the final clue, says "Not a doofus". And the answer is "YOU". Please.


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