Category Archives: Academia

In praise of short abstracts

Posted in Academia, Science | Leave a comment

The Empirical Economics Debate

In the 1930s and 1940s, academic economists were engaged in the so-called “socialist calculation debate,” a theoretical quarrel that was not fully resolved until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. (Until then, some economists seriously believed that a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Economics, History, Questions Rarely Asked | 3 Comments

The problem with so-called public meaning originalism

President Trump’s nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court has reignited the longstanding constitutional battle between defenders of the Living Constitution and backers of Originalism. (If this never-ending normative debate were a baseball game, it would be in the 57th … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Current Affairs, History, Law, Philosophy, Politics | 4 Comments

Spring break reading list

Here is what we are reading over our spring break: 1. Peter Thiel (with Blake Masters), Zero to one: notes on startups, or how to build the future. We teach business law and are currently writing several chapters of a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Economics, Ethics, Law | 2 Comments

Why are abstracts of law review articles so damn long?

Years ago, we blogged on the state of legal scholarship by posing the following question: why are modern law reviews so dull, tedious, and boring? The problem is that most law review articles today are way too long and have … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Game Theory, Law | 3 Comments

Class No. 3 (Due Process and the Burden of Proof)

In our previous class, we discussed the law and ethics of Facemash, a short-lived website Mark Zuckerberg created in the fall of ’03—a few months before he launched the beta version of Facebook. This week, we will re-enact Zuckerberg’s “Ad … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Ethics, Law | 2 Comments

Featured Syllabus: Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data

This course is being taught by professors Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West. Here is a link to their syllabus, which itself has links to all the assigned readings. (Props to Jason Kottke for the pointer.) Update (1/26): Here is another promising syllabus–an upper-level … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning | 1 Comment

Visualizing the syllabus

Why are most college syllabi such drab and dreary affairs? By contrast, Chia-Hua Lin, a PhD student in philosophy at the University of South Carolina, has created a beautiful visual syllabus (see below) for her applied ethics course on “Genetic … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Philosophy | 3 Comments

What are the most important unsolved problems in law?

Hola! This intriguing post by our blogging colleague and philosophical friend Tyler Cowen (asking about unsolved problems in economics) got us thinking about unsolved problems in the domain of law. But does it make any sense to talk about soluble … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Economics, Law, Philosophy | 4 Comments

Upcoming talk 

If you happen to be in San Francisco, California this week, and if you’re a fan of this blog (two big “ifs”), yours truly will be attending the 19th Annual Faculty Conference of the Federalist Society, where we will be presenting our … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Law | 1 Comment