Why is that bad?

Go here to see why the positive/normative distinction matters. They almost get it in the baby rollerskating post, but even that one ends with the crazy-good argument that our society is racist because, well, its racist.

Every post on the first two pages was bitching about something or other. Its all bad. I’m not sure why because there’s no semblance of a normative theory; except for “everything in our society is bad”. The about page says the site “encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination and that, between all of us, public discourse will increasingly include a sociological lens with which we can all learn about social processes and mechanisms, critique social inadequacies, and design functional and equitable alternatives.” On the first two pages of the site, I didn’t see anything but “critiques of social inadequancies” or at least claimed inadequancies; there is no attempt to argue why they are so.

How am I suppose to engage this website? Nod my head? And if I’m not inclined to do so?

How do you know you’re marrying a Japanese woman?

The first spoonful of delicious soup she just made contains octopus tentacle.

I don’t know why I was surprised… at this point she’s had me eat rotten beans, gummy ice cream and seaweed flakes on rice.

UPDATE: She tells me boxed cereal reminds her of dog food and that its weird to have so many varieties of cheese.

Raj Chetty ex-post

He presented a great paper (I don’t see it on his website but here’s a volatile link to Davis’ seminar page). Using just graphs and a stunningly beautiful data set from Denmark, he showed that people do, in fact, adjust their labor supply in response to tax changes (surprisingly, this is a controversy in micro). I may be a macroeconomist but I get a warm feeling in my belly when someone gives conviencing evidence that people respond to incentives.

Before the talk, I asked him about where he sees micro- and macroeconomics intersecting. He said that he likes the questions macro asks, but he believes the answers micro provides. “There’s an arbitrage opportunity for researchers to take the methods of micro and apply them to macro,” he said. Too bad I want to go the other way!

I wanted to ask him what he thought of DSGE models, but our time ran out before I could.

Also, after about two sentences explaining my research, he isolated the fundamental issue I’ve been struggling with and was able to give really useful advice. He’s more or less a genius.