Tuesday , June 2 2020
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Tag Archives: Books

What should I ask Annie Duke?

I will be doing a Conversation with her.  Here is part of her Wikipedia page: Anne LaBarr Duke (née Lederer; September 13, 1965) is an American professional poker player and author. She holds a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet from 2004 and used to be the leading money winner among women in WSOP history (a title now held by Vanessa Selbst). Duke won the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2010. She has written a number...

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*The Puzzle of Prison Order*

That is the title of the new and excellent book by David Skarbek, and the subtitle is Why Life Behind Bars Varies Around the World.  Here is part of the Amazon summary of its contents: Many people think prisons are all the same-rows of cells filled with violent men who officials rule with an iron fist. Yet, life behind bars varies in incredible ways. In some facilities, prison officials govern with care and attention to prisoners’ needs. In others, officials have remarkably little...

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The Spanish-language Kindle edition of *Stubborn Attachments*

The various subtleties of the title “Stubborn Attachments” do not translate well into Spanish, so here is “El imperativo moral del crecimiento económico: Una visión de una sociedad libre y próspera de individuos responsable.” You can order it here, and I expect a print edition will be coming in due time. I thank all of those involved for helping this project come to fruition, and thank Gonzalo Schwarz for doing the translation. The post The Spanish-language Kindle...

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*The Deficit Myth* and Modern Monetary Theory

That is the new book by Stephanie Kelton and the subtitle is Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy.  Here are a few observations: 1. Much of it is quite unobjectionable and well-known, dating back to the Bullionist debates or earlier yet.  Yet regularly it flies off the handle and makes unsupported macroeconomic assertions. 2. Like many of the Austrians, Kelton likes to insist on special terms, such as the government spending “coming first.”  You...

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That was then, this is now

Ali Akbar was two years younger than Robu [later named Ravi Shankar], but a couple of years ahead in his musical training.  He has been through a brutal regime: Baba had even tied him to a tree and beaten him when his progress was unsatisfactory.  Although Baba had arranged for Ali Akbar to marry at the age of fifteen, he still expected him to remain celibate — married to music.  Twice Ali Akbar ran away.  Ultimately the harsh discipline brought out his talent and made him into a master...

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What I’ve been reading

1. Jordan Mechner, The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993.  A memoir and game development journal from a game developer.  The content is foreign to me, but this is one of the most beautiful and artistic books I ever have seen and I suspect some of you will find the narrative gripping.  A product of Stripe Press — “Ideas for Progress.” 2. Jeffrey D. Sachs, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions.  This book is a series of lectures, based...

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Martha Wells Is Having too Much Fun Here…

Highly recommended. Martha Wells appears to have had an illegally large amount of fun writing this novel. Here a newly-created instantiation of Murderbot sets out on what is supposed to be a suicide mission. Murderbot's first person POV: Martha Wells: Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel https://books.google.com/books?id=sBK_yAEACAAJ&dq=isbn:1250229863: 'Obviously some things had happened since [the] A[--hole ]R[esearch ]T[ransport] had... cop[ied the old me to create me]... ...And...

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*The WEIRDest People in the World*

That is the new 655 pp. book by Joseph Henrich, due out September 8, and yes it is “an event.”  The subtitle is “How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous,” and that is indeed one of the very most important questions in all of social science. “WEIRD” of course refers to “Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.”  And is it not weird that we (some of us, at least) are WEIRD? Here is an excerpt from...

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Noted: Gibbon: Roman Tolerance

Edward Gibbon: Roman Tolerance https://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/10/quote-of-the-day-october-5-2011-roman-tolerance.html: 'The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord...

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Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality 2020-05-07 19:30:19

Jo Walton (2004): The Dyer of Lorbanery (Spearpoint Theory) http://www.jowaltonbooks.com/23rd-february-2004-the-dyer-of-lorbanery-spearpoint-theory/: ‘There comes a point in writing, and it’s a spear-point, it’s very small and sharp but because it’s backed by the length and weight of a whole spear and a whole strong person pushing it, it’s a point that goes in a long way. Spearpoints need all that behind them, or they don’t pack their punch in the same way. Examples are difficult to give...

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