Big data – velika napaka?

Five years ago, a team of researchers from Google announced a remarkable achievement in one of the world’s top scientific journals, Nature. Without needing the results of a single medical check-up, they were nevertheless able to track the spread of influenza across the US. What’s more, they could do it more quickly than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Google’s tracking had only a day’s delay, compared with the week or more it took for the CDC to assemble a picture based on reports from doctors’ surgeries. Google was faster because it was tracking the outbreak by finding a correlation between what people searched for online and whether they had flu symptoms.
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Zakaj popolna meritokracija ni nujno tudi dober sistem

What would a perfect meritocracy look like? Suppose we could all agree on a definition of “merit” as “ability to contribute to the common good”.

Suppose that each individual was born with a certain quantity of “merit”, and that we could observe and measure each individual’s “merit” perfectly. It’s indelibly stamped on their foreheads.

Suppose that we had an economic system where each individual’s income was strictly and perfectly proportional to that individual’s “merit”.

That perfect meritocracy is not a good economic system. Not in my eyes, anyway. Because, for example, it would mean that an individual who was unlucky enough to be born with zero “merit” would get zero income. 

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Zakaj Piketty ne vrača ljubezni kolegom?

Najbrž že od Keynesove “Splošne teorije” (1936) nobena knjiga ni tako vznemirila ekonomistov kot letošnja knjiga Thomasa Pikettyja “Capital in the Twenty-First Century“. Piketty knjigo ne samo predstavlja po najbolj uglednih akademskih inštitucijah širom sveta, pač pa je knjiga celo postala top 1 bestseller na Amazonu. Knjiga se res odlično bere, je odlična mešanica 200 let zgodovine ekonomike neenakosti, napisane v “ljudskem jeziku”, vendar podkrepljene z goro podatkov in podrobnih razlag v fusnotah, hkrati pa s številnimi referencami na književnost (na Jane Austen in Honorea Balzaca itd.) in filme. Res odlično branje.

V knjigi si Piketty privošči kolege ekonomiste. Pravi, da ekonomisti “ne vedo nič o ničemer”, da se spogledujejo z otročjo strastjo do matematike, namesto da bi se ukvarjali z vsebinskimi analizami in da je kot profesor na MIT sanjal o tem, da bi bil profesor na EHESS, saj francoske sociologe spoštuje bolj kot kolege ekonomiste, ovenčane z Nobelovo nagrado.

Predrzno, mar ne? Toda Piketty si to lahko privošči. Nadaljujte z branjem

Fixing Terrible Economics Presentations

Orderstatistic

Most economics seminar presentations are terrible. Basically, we suck at presenting our work.  

There are many guides to improving presentations that you can find online. There’s a recent set of suggestions by Jesse Shapiro on Greg Mankiw’s blog. These guides provide reasonable, uncontroversial advice and for the most part I agree with their suggestions (big font, lead with a question, have a bottom line, etc). Here I’m going to make some suggestions that I don’t often hear others making and which some of you might find controversial.

These are suggestions for presentations. I’ll have a post directed at advice for seminar participants soon.

Before I get going let me acknowledge that I am not the best presenter in the world myself. However, I have completed step 1 on the path to recovery – I have recognized that I have a problem. In fact I have completed step 2…

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Zakaj je trenutni ekonomski kurikulum neprimeren?

Aleš Praprotnik

Kot sem že pisal v krajšem postu, se na univerzi v Manchestru (pa tudi drugod, npr. v Nemčiji in Franciji), študentje ekonomije ne strinjajo s tem, kako so oblikovani trenutni ekonomski kurikulumi. Menijo, da je zadnja kriza razgalila pomanjkljivosti prevladujočih učnih načrtov in učbenikov ter zahtevajo temeljito prenovo. Med drugim se želijo med svojim študijem poučiti tudi o drugih pristopih v ekonomski znanosti (npr. post-keynesianski, avstrijski, ekološki, marksistični, itd.), ne samo o neoklasičnem, ki v veliki meri prevladuje. Želijo izvedeti kaj o zgodovini ekonomske misli. Prav tako bi radi ekonomijo povezati z zgodovino, etiko in politiko, saj odločitve politikov, na katere vplivajo ekonomski svetovalci, izobraženi po določenem kopitu, vplivajo širše na celotno družbo. Nadaljujte z branjem

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