Liberal = Dogmatist?
sed 's/liberal/dogmatist/g' http://www.techcentralstation.com/042704I.html

There, that's better...
Victor Davis Hanson at NRO: "The United States was wrong to go to war to take out a monster who deserved to be taken out but nevertheless should stay to ensure stability in a country that it has no right to be in. Is there any general explanation for all these contradictions? I think very little other than the general lesson that we can draw about a rather humane, affluent, and leisured society after September 11 finding itself confused and in a baffling war against medieval enemies it thought were not supposed to be around in the 21st century. "
  Dynamic scoring
Via Craig Newmark on MR, I discovered a wonderful blog (with no RSS/atom feed... for shame). As I was browsing, I ran into the term "dynamic scoring." I've seen it a couple times before, but always mentioned in passing.

What is it?

OMB Watch says, "Dynamic scoring refers to the factoring in of possible increases in economic growth when "scoring," or calculating, the amount of lost revenue a tax cut will result in. Advocates of dynamic scoring argue that the practice offers a more realistic view of the likely budget effects of tax cuts by incorporating increased business activity that they argue accompanies lower tax rates. Opponents point out that dynamic scoring masks the true costs of tax cuts by relying on the potential for an increase in revenue that many economists argue is unlikely."

Brad Delong implies that there is a consensus among economists regarding the effects of dynamic scoring.
  A cure for cancer?
I might go blind or grow hair on the palms of my hands, but given my "activity level" I have a better chance of not getting prostate cancer...
  On to sophomore calculus...
I got an A in the third, and last, quarter of freshman calculus. Great, I've proven that my Math skills haven't been lost in the 7 years since I last took freshman calculus. Maybe I should go ride a bike to see if I can still do that, too.

Anyway, my math prep continues with Linear Algebra and Vector Calculus classes. After the first week, all is well. Both classes are taught be aerospace geeks, so that's fun. (Lot's of jokes about proofs not being rocket science. "I should know!" har, har, har.)

Craig Newmark, guest blogging on MR, makes the point that econ PhD applicants "should be well prepared in math." He points to Susan Athey, who says " Real analysis is an especially important," which is nice considering my recent discovery of that topic.

I have to find myself in a analysis course one of these days. If I get in the Davis program, I'll take Professor Sargent's advise and take math classes on the side. If I don't get into the Davis program, I'll get a math degree from a CSU (San Jose?).
Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
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My copy of Introduction to Analysis came in the mail this morning. That was quick. Go Amazon. A quick scan of the TOC and contents has given me the distinct impression that I've been wasting my time in freshman calculus courses...

Anyway, my previous post got me thinking. Grad school will be the first time I'll be in charge of my own agenda. I'll be able to decide what to study and when to study it. This wasn't true in undergrad or at work.

In school, besides the few electives I was allowed, the classes I took were pre-determined by the programs I was in. I didn't choose the reading material or the topics to cover. My job was to show up and learn the material.

I do have to admit that I've had a lot of leeway in my job. The folks there have given me the space to explore new things and new ways of doing things. Ultimately however, I was beholden to their agenda. I didn't set strategy, I followed their strategy.

So grad school will be an opportunity to set my own strategy, to decide what is important. This is liberating and exciting, but I'm afraid that I'm not entirely sure how to handle the logistics. How do you decide, among the many things you want to study, what to actually spend your time on? How do balance researching a broad set of topics with the need to have in-depth knowledge in some areas?

I've already run into this problem with my growing to-read (or re-read) pile. Added to my routine reading, I have my econ textbooks to review. Math, statistics and econometrics. Japanese history. Several important economics books. Several other fun things I want to read. The question, "What to read first?" puts me a certain state of paralysis. Because I can't decide were to start, I have hard time starting.

I guess it hit me that grad school or not, time to study is limited. Yet the number of things to study (in terms of subjects and depth within a subject) is limitless. My optimization problem then is to figure out what and when to study.
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