Category Archives: Politics

Must-see in Arecibo… thanks, Russian billionaire?

It is right in front of Mar Chiquita.  Ruining the most beautiful place on the island. On Tuesday in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Zurab Tsereteli’s huge sculpture of Christopher Columbus was inaugurated.  At 350ft, Birth of a New World is not … Continue reading

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Fun, meaning hard to really take seriously…. but still fun

They find GDP tends to grow much faster under Democratic presidents (averaging 4.33% per year) than Republican presidents (averaging 2.54% per year)….The authors find two important factors that might be expected to matter but don’t: fiscal policy and monetary policy. … Continue reading

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Graduation at Santa Clara University – my peeps?

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Conversation starter next time you are with your doctor: How do you sleep at night knowing you are a vampire blood-sucker?

The Returns to Medical School: Evidence from Admission Lotteries Nadine Ketel Edwin Leuven Hessel Oosterbeek Bas van der Klaauw American Economic Journal: Applied Economics vol. 8, no. 2, April 2016 (pp. 225-54) Abstract: We exploit admission lotteries to estimate the … Continue reading

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We’ve now entered the economic doldrums…

The Federal Reserve has abandoned hope of raising interest rates at its next meeting in June, but Fed officials say they are still thinking seriously about raising rates in July or September. Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, who said … Continue reading

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Fantastic resource for Stata users

An intro into the fundamentals of data analysis and visualization using Stata. Source: Stata Cheatsheets

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Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning

I saw Crooked Timber recommend the novel so I rushed out and borrowed Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning from interlibrary loan.  Yes, I can see the appeal. It is very dense, very intellectual, very imaginative.  The big “reveals” are … Continue reading

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Why do some academics feel the need to exaggerate? Roots and the legacy of slavery

I do not want to take anything away from Alex Haley. I watched Roots as a child (dubbed in Spanish!) and as a junior in college I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X straight through one summer.  I loved both. … Continue reading

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On campus debates about diversity fallout

My recollection is that Ms. Christakis in some sense escalated by calling such an attempt to social norm a “transfer of power”… by invoking power, perhaps, a battle that did not have to be engaged was engaged.  But here I … Continue reading

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Reading about Kenya

I am advising a student who is interested in exploring development issues in Kenya.  So here is a top-five list of books to read. David William Cohen and E. S. Atieno Odhiambo, Burying SM: The Politics of Knowledge and the … Continue reading

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Thoughtful negative review of «The Last Face», by Sean Penn, from RFI

Pavé de bonnes intentions, The Last Face réunit tous les poncifs et horreurs imaginables : l’exhibition de corps ensanglantés, découpés par des machettes, troués par des mitraillettes, des femmes violées jusqu’à la mort. Certes, Penn nous plonge dans un hôpital … Continue reading

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No wonder no Jews went back to Poland: Kielce pogrom

I was listening to some of the radio broadcast on NPR for Holocaust remembrance day, Thursday, and one of the survivors mentioned Kielce, as something that happened after liberation.  I had never heard of it, so was very surprised to … Continue reading

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Un Rude Hiver, by Raymond Queneau

When I was in college I read Zazie dans le métro, and remember quite liking it.  Some years ago I picked up Exercises de style, which should be read pretty much by anyone who claims to like literature.  So I … Continue reading

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Puerto Rico and the question of whether states can declare bankruptcy to restructure debts

My colleague Kris Mitchener reminded me that back in the 1840s there were state defaults on debt.  I had thought that that legal avenue had been closed to states.  I am no constitutional lawyer, and of course with all things … Continue reading

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Elliot does the Kevanes proud…

Elliot Kevane, San Jose tennis: He won two matches in straight sets to complete an undefeated season at No. 1 singles as San Jose won its league championship. The link: http://www.mercurynews.com/high-school-sports/ci_29825356/high-school-sports-highlight-reel-top-performances-from  

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Some university lecturers are amazing!

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Non-academic reading and viewing and listening

I have been remiss in not regularly posting.  Here’s my suggestions for your leisure time. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, that just won the Pulitzer Prize.  I read it about a month ago and enjoyed it. I think it has … Continue reading

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Tangled connections: From Victor Jara to Monika Ertl

I love browsing, and sometimes I do too much of it.  Today, listening to Inti-Illimani mix on Youtube, next in the lineup was the song Vientos del Pueblo, written by Victor Jara, but sung here by Carlos Puebla.  Then since … Continue reading

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When the new generation’s way of talking becomes mainstream

Only people of my generation and older find the expression, “Does that even work?” to be slightly odd.

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I wish more people would read Frans de Waal

Increased respect for animal intelligence also has consequences for cognitive science. For too long, we have left the human intellect dangling in empty evolutionary space. How could our species arrive at planning, empathy, consciousness and so on, if we are … Continue reading

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