Saturday, 16 January 2010

Cognitive/behavioural links

A few links today:

  1. Eric Fairfield, whom I met over at the Environmental Economics blog, is working on some ideas that are resonant with mine - local rationality, cross-disciplinary influences from physics, computer science and economics, and cognitive agent modelling. Not much detail on his blog yet, but some tantalising hints. We'll be speaking soon and if there's anything more I can say publicly, I will.

  2. Text-message donations to the Red Cross in the US have raised $8 million for Haiti relief in 3 days. Consumerology thinks this is a lot, but I'm not sure that it is. Compare to (say) the 2004 tsunami - after which the Red Cross raised $1.4 billion in a month or the equivalent of about $135 million in 3 days. Admittedly this is a worldwide figure - but the US number would probably have far exceeded $8 million.

    There's a more interesting story here than just whether text messages make it easier to donate - the effects of booms and recessions on donations, disaster fatigue and cultural differences in perception between Indonesia and Haiti. That research may come later. In the meantime, please do donate.

  3. Eight economic and philosophical questions from Scott Sumner at TheMoneyIllusion. This posting alone will give you a couple of hours' worth of thought if you take it seriously.

  4. And linking to the above is Arnold Kling with five possible explanations of the recession, including some discussion of psychological and intellectual-property influences.

  5. Update: A fifth link, a review by Mae Kuykendall of David Westbrook's Out of Crisis: Rethinking our Financial Markets, discusses a very interesting issue: language, and how it constructs social institutions such as markets and governments, while conditioning our assumptions about prices and claims on resources.

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