Archive for the ‘economic philosophy’ Category

What really went wrong…

April 14, 2010Jon Brooks Comments Off

A new paper that will be published in the Journal of Investment Management posits the theory that economists suffer from “physics envy,” aspiring to create economic models “as predictive as those in physics. While this perspective has led to a number of important breakthroughs in economics,” says the abstract, “‘physics envy’ has also created a [...]

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The theory of erotic capital

April 12, 2010Jon Brooks Comments Off

Some academic research is obviously very dry, but boy, some isn’t. From the March 19, 2010 issue of European Sociological Review: : Erotic Capital by Catherine Hakim, Department of Sociology, London School of Economic Introduction We present a new theory of erotic capital as a fourth personal asset, an important addition to economic, cultural, and [...]

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Broadband for all!

March 29, 2010Jon Brooks 1 Comment »

On Cafe Hayek, George Mason economics professor Russ Roberts dissects from a libertarian’s point of view a CNN story about the government’s recently announced National Broadband Plan. The initiative is aimed at providing every American “affordable access to robust broadband service,” among other goals.

Says it all

Here’s an amazing story from CNN because it’s so ordinary. It’s about a top-down government initiative that sounds good – giving more broadband access to Americans. Who’s against more Americans getting broadband? The FCC has a plan to get it done. Go Broadband!

So here’s the story.

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Debate on worker co-ops

February 17, 2010Jon Brooks 1 Comment »

An interesting debate on the discussion web site Plastic about the viability of worker cooperatives (a business model that Michael Moore touted in Capitalism: A Love Story) encompasses economics, philosophy, and business ethics. The initial post… Not a Mere Factor of Production There is this bookshop on 57th Street, South Side. Finding your way through [...]

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“The Office” as critique of management theory

January 13, 2010Jon Brooks Comments Off

From, a blog about “business and innovation,” written by Venkatesh Rao, who works at the Xerox Innovation Group. Rao has written two posts — “The Office According to ‘The Office’” and “Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk” — dissecting NBC’s hit sit-com “The Office” as “an interpretation of The Office as management science.”

“The Office” is not a random series of cynical gags aimed at momentarily alleviating the existential despair of low-level grunts. It is a fully-realized theory of management that falsifies 83.8% of the business section of the bookstore…

Hugh MacLeod’s cartoon is a pitch-perfect symbol of an unorthodox school of management based on the axiom that organizations don’t suffer pathologies; they are intrinsically pathological constructs.


Idealized organizations are not perfect. They are perfectly pathological. So while most management literature is about striving relentlessly towards an ideal by executing organization theories completely, this school, which I’ll call the Whyte school, would recommend that you do the bare minimum organizing to prevent chaos, and then stop…

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Who are the Gold Bugs?

September 8, 2009Jon Brooks 2 Comments »

The price of gold rushed past $1000 per ounce today, sending it within glittering distance of last year’s record high before profit-taking ate into gains. But the breach of the psychological $1000 barrier has put a sparkle into the eyes of those who have been accumulating the precious metal, and has them looking for more [...]

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Who was Elbridge G. Spaulding?

September 4, 2009Jon Brooks Comments Off

You know the answer to that if you happened to catch Floyd Norris’s column in the New York Times today: “It was he who, at the end of 1861, figured out that the American government simply needed to print money to pay for the Civil War. It was economic heresy then, but without it this [...]

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What shape are we in?

September 4, 2009Jon Brooks Comments Off

Referring to the current recessionary cycle, Joseph Stiglitz says we may be in for a W-shaped recovery. Norel Roubini thinks we could go W or U. George Soros said he didn’t see a V anywhere in site. What, exactly, are they talking about? Let us consult the Wiki. V-shaped recession: “The economy suffers a sharp [...]

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The real roots of the economic crisis

September 2, 2009Jon Brooks Comments Off

If you happen to be in Cambridge, Massachussetts on October 8th, drop in on a lecture by Marc Hauser, Director of the Cognitive Evolution Lab at Harvard: How Apes and Monkeys May Help Us Understand the Economic Crisis. Hauser will argue that “many of the problems in our own economic decision-making can be traced back millions of years when our primate ancestors were small-brained quadrupeds lacking any concept of money or the stock market.” Hmm. Sounds like some financial advisors we know.

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Clunker love

August 21, 2009Jon Brooks 1 Comment »

The Cash for Clunkers program is ending on Monday. Although a lot of people took advantage of the government subsidy to trade in their low gas-mileage car for a more fuel efficient one, many seem to have done so with a good dose of regret and a whole lot of anthropomorphizing. Here’s a guy, for [...]

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