November readings (updated)

Here is our updated fall reading list. (We are taking the week of Thanksgiving off to get caught up on our readings.)

prior probability

In addition to our regular stream of scholarly readings (blog posts, book reviews, essays, law review articles, etc.), below are some of the books we are reading this month (updated 11/13):

  1. Tyler Cowen, Stubborn Attachments (Stripe). This will be a re-read for us, as we read a previous (unpublished) edition of this manuscript two years ago or so.
  2. Steven E. Landsburg, Can You Outsmart an Economist? (Mariner). The title of this book is a bit misleading, because the book ignores the entire subfield of behavioral economics. Still, it’s a fun read.
  3. Cass R. Sunstein, The Cost-Benefit Revolution (MIT Press). We are going to read this book on the strength of Tyler Cowen’s recommendation. Our copy of this book just arrived (11/12), so expect regular updates soon.
  4. Tom Wright & Bradley Hope, Billion Dollar Whale (Hachette). We just finished reading this tome, which tells an incredible…

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Let’s groove!

To celebrate our impending “200,000th hit” (see the counter on the right side of the desktop version of our blog), we are sharing this fun rendition of “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. The choreography is a smash! (Hat tip: Rachel Wong.)

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Ofrendas as art

One aspect of Mexican culture that has always fascinated me is the custom of making ofrendas to honor the dead. (An ofrenda is a collection of physical objects–some sacred, others profane–placed on a ritual display, usually during the annual “Dia de los Muertos” celebration every 2 November, and many ofrendas are quite large and elaborate.) The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas contains, among other things, an eclectic collection of ofrendas. Most of the museum’s ofrendas honor actual persons, but the one below honors Cri-Cri, a beloved Mexican cartoon character!

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Happy Armistice Day

The First World War ended on this day 100 years ago (11 Nov 1918), when Germany surrendered to the Allies. The combatants then negotiated the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed on 28 June 1918, formally ending “the war to end all wars.” (As an aside, the Great War inspired a class of strategic games known as Blotto Games, and this branch of game theory has informed our understanding of civil litigation. For more, see our work-in-progress “The Colonel Blotto Litigation Game.”)

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Recursive fortune cookie

Hat tip: @pickover

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Cedar tree (UT Austin via Pakistan)

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Applied geometry

As Aatish Bhatia notes (via Wired): “A sheet of paper placed across two books can’t even support the weight of a pencil. But if you corrugate the sheet by folding it a few times, it supports a can of beans!” (hat tip: @pickover)

Credit: Aatish Bhatia

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