Saturday, May 25, 2013

Academics can be trolls too

Referring to the pic above and its accompanying post, Munger at Kids Prefer Cheese says, "Only libertarians recognize that these really ARE essentially the same issue." My criticism is of the word recognize and its implication that anyone who disagrees is simply wrong. A more accurate characterization would be that dogmatic libertarians view these as the same because they are focused on personal liberty to the exclusion of all other considerations. The poster masks one issue behind another in a manner common in today's political pseudo-discourse. The issue placed at the forefront is stated in the second sentence, "We should not base our laws on personal dislikes." I wholeheartedly agree with this one, and I would argue that it is key in a number of contexts. However, this is not the issue (or at least not the primary one) for proponents of gun control. Rather, it is public safety.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Online education, pro and con (but mostly pro)

A recent New York Times article describes a conflict over online courses that has erupted at San Jose State University. Members of the philosophy department there wrote an open letter to Harvard professor Michael Sandel objecting to using materials from his online social justice course in their own curriculum. Speaking as someone totally devoted to quality undergraduate education, I have several criticisms of the SJSU letter.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where'd that paper go?

Over a year ago, I wrote a paper called "Curbing the Dangers of High-Frequency Trading" and submitted it to the Economists' Voice.  The final acceptance came through in March of 2012.  The official link is here, and an ungated copy is here.  Here is the problem: I didn't know where to find the published version, or even  that it had been published, until this week.