Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday with the crowds or online?

Looking for good gifts and want to avoid the mall?'s Black Friday page is now open..

OR Search in the Amazon box to the left.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Am A Tablet PC (WIPTE 2008)

This is fun -- from WIPTE 2008

Now I wish I had gone this year ... :)

Typealyzer -- Analyze this

Typealyzer at will analyze a blog to inform you about the writer of the blog. Very interesting...

(found on Greg Mankiw's Blog)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What Really Happened in the 2008 Election

Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia in his blog, Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State, has some facinating graphs of what happened with the 2008 vote. Republicians have lost share in all income groups and among the youth, but "the red/blue map was not redrawn; if was more of a national partisan swing" as shown in the following graph:

I am still playing with the data from the WSJ in my
previous post. Letting D2008 and D2004 be the gap between the democrat and republician, and pctinc and pcthouse be the percentage change in income and house prices (all of this by state) I get no significance for pcthouse if I control for D2004 and I do get significance if I only control for whether the state was a bluestate.

The residual maps are really suggestive and I think this makes a great class problem to solve. Start with the data given in the WSJ, then have the students collect the actual D2008 (the number in the WSJ is based on final polls). Then have the students build a model and collect the state by state data that would be better used than those I used.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A New WPA? or Change We Can Believe In!

Last night I was catching up on reading and found on Greg Mankiw's site a posting called "The New Draft" that showed the new administration ready to REQUIRE service from citizens. He quotes the website "Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. (emphasis and color is Greg's)"

I was moved to post, but it was late, so...

This morning Greg has modified his post since: "The presidential transition website to which I linked above no longer uses the word 'require.' The passage quoted above was copied and pasted from that website (with bolding added by me). But within a few hours after I posted it here, the wording changed to "setting a goal."I am delighted to see this blog having so much influence on the policies of the new administration. That's change I can believe in!"

I hope bloggers do continue to have influence when this positive. What at first struck me about the posting on the Obama website was that this was the kind of economic policy change that can not help the overall economy. I have been troubled by the constant statements from the campaign (and I suspect still) that the way to grow an economy is from the bottom up.

I suspect we are in for a lot of these kind of proposals.

Friday, November 07, 2008

State-by-State Polls Compared to Economic Indicators

This is facintating if it holds up to analysis. Certainly there is something here in more of McCain's support coming from states where house prices have been rising and more of Obama's support coming from states where house prices have fallen.

See the article from the WSJ

Have we organized our education to kill creativity? - or How might web 2.0 help?

Reading through various blogs that I frequent I stumbled again on which is a great teaching resource. In particular a video by Sir Ken Robinson is quite challenging on how we teach and organize our learning.

For more information on this great resource go to the TED webpage.

And thanks to Steve Greenlaw for leading me to this resource via his presentation on Engaging the Next Generation to be given to faculty at Manchester College in Indiana. He makes some excellent points about Web 2.0 methods that can really help in the classroom.

Blog entry from EDUCAUSE CONNECT

I found this interesting... freeing up spectrum opens up lots of possibilities.

While You Were Voting: FCC Frees Up The White Spaces

Created by Anna M. Gould (EDUCAUSE) on November 06, 2008

While the country fixated on the historic presidential election on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quietly expanded the use of unused airwaves, or "white spaces." The move, one which EDUCAUSE has supported for several years now, will free up this high quality spectrum for unlicensed uses such as WiFi. The white space issue has become increasingly important as the national transition from analog to digital television wraps up in February 2009.

Supporters, including Microsoft and Google, said freeing white spaces would allow for greater innovation in wireless technologies and provide better access to consumers. However, some expressed concern that usage of the spectrum would create interference with wireless microphones. Churches, Broadway producers, and the Walt Disney Company opposed the measure, arguing that there would be interference in church sermons, live musical performances, and university lectures. The FCC, though, says they conducted tests and could not prove there was any interference.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

From the desk of John Micklethwait, Editor - 6th November 2008

Govern from the center?  Really?

From: <>

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 14:15:34 -0500
Subject: From the desk of John Micklethwait, Editor - 6th November 2008


Dear Reader,

This was a remarkable week for America. In our cover leader we celebrate Barack Obama's famous victory but we also worry about the unreasonably great expectations of his supporters and the outside world. The president-elect should use the next ten weeks to recalibrate people's hopes—and also to send a clear message that he will govern from the centre of American politics.

Here are some other pieces from this week's issue you might also be interested in. You can click straight through to each one and read it online at using the links below.

John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait
Editor in Chief


Nanotechnology and cancer
How treatments could be delivered by clever nanoparticles

The end of the fiesta
A 14-page special report on Spain, still one of Europe's success stories

A green New Deal
Sometimes the easy answer is the wrong one

In defence of credit-default swaps
The case for an unloved derivative

Don't expand Heathrow
Enlarging the world's busiest airport does not make sense

Highlights from this week's edition of The Economist
Subscribers have free access to all content on
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America's election | The challenges facing Barack Obama | Spain's morning after | Treating cancer with nanoparticles | Expanding Heathrow | The charm of big cities | Clean technology in the downturn | In defence of credit-default swaps | Dmitry Medvedev speaks to the nation | Brazil's economy and its banks | The worsening crisis in Congo | Taiwan and China boost economic links | Putting Patty Hearst in context | Studs Terkel, recorder of America's voices

Click Here!  

Monday, November 03, 2008

Future Senarios for Economics: Kling or Caplan?

Will the demand for economics courses rise (ala Caplan) or has economics suffered a fatal crash leading to a new economics of control (ala Kling)? Are we in for a trend of justifications for economic policy prescriptions of greater and greater governmental controls? Will academic economists change the way they teach? Has anything changed our profession in a fundamental way? If so is it the poverty of our politics or the poverty of our economics?

Tomorrow ... VOTE

Vote tomorrow Nov. 4 or don't complain later.