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Archive for March, 2007

Festival of Links

Posted by erweinstein on March 28, 2007

1. Should bloggers adopt a voluntary code of conduct? Tim O’Reilly thinks so. Details here. The New York Times has more here.

2. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is the latest pick for Oprah’s Book Club.

3. What’s it like to teach an advanced college math class (Modern Algebra) without a textbook? Professor Robert Talbert intends to find out. UPDATE: link to Robert’s post now fixed.

4. Happy Zoroastrian New Year!

5. University of Chicago Computer Science Professor Lance Fortnow announced that he is ending his interesting math and CS blog, Computational Complexity. Presumably the fun and useful introduction to complexity theory will remain viewable.

6. At Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen defend fellow economist Steven Levitt against Noam Scheiber’s charges (subscriber only) that “Freakonomics is ruining the dismal science”. Subscribers to The Economist can read more about instrumental variables here. MAJOR UPDATES: Full versions of the article have been reprinted (legally?) here and here. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw weighs in here. Cowen adds more, and points to Joshua Angrist’s piece. Most importantly, Professor Levitt defends himself on his Freakonomics Blog. A glance through the entire Scheiber piece reveals several glaring factual inaccuracies. In particular, the following assertion is blatantly false: “Chicago had never been an ideal place to do empirical work. Nobel Prizewinning theorists like Gary Becker and Robert Lucas disliked dirtying their hands with data.” More on this later…

7. One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers offers a neo-conservative critique of the Bush administration and the Iraq debacle.

8. Daniel Drezner agrees with Cass Sunstein (almost). Unfortunately, the topic in question is the non-viability of the Internet as a medium for serious and thoughtful information-sharing…

9. Did the extinction of the dinosaurs help mammals? New research reported here.

Posted in Festival of Links | 1 Comment »

Mixed Blessings Report

Posted by erweinstein on March 14, 2007

Anti-Defamation League Study: Anti-Semitism in US falls 12% in 2006

One of the causes for the fall, according to the ADL, was the temporary refocus of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi organizations in the US on the immigration debate, leading these groups to target Hispanics and immigrants rather than Jews. Thus, the audit discovered just 77 incidents of anti-Semitic “extremist group activity” in 2006, down from 112 such incidents in 2005.


Posted in Politics, Religion | Comments Off on Mixed Blessings Report

Happy Pi Day

Posted by erweinstein on March 14, 2007

Have a very happy Pi Day, everyone!


Also, happy 128th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth!

Posted in Mathematics | Comments Off on Happy Pi Day