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Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Autonomous Vehicles: Eeyore Speaks

Missy Cummings was “one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy and now a professor in the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, as well as the director of Duke’s Humans and Autonomy Laboratory.” She is interviewed by Michael Chui of the McKinsey Global Institute in “From fighter pilot to robotics pioneer: An interview with Missy Cummings” (September 22, 2021, audio and transcript). I was struck in particular by her comments...

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Africa in the news: Nigeria, climate change, and Tunisia updates

By Leo HoltzCOVID-19 maintains lingering economic disruption in Nigeria On Tuesday, Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations Development Program reported that approximately 20 percent of workers in Nigeria lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the joint research examining the pandemic’s impact on Africa’s largest economy uncovered a staggering 33 percent unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020. Informal-sector workers particularly struggled to...

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The Problem of Automated Screening of Job Applicants

There are plenty of good things that happen when firms post their job openings online. When a job is posted publicly, many more people have a chance to learn about it. Jobs are perhaps less likely to be allocated by a social network of who-hears-what-from-whom, opening up opportunities more broadly. Also, potential workers can search jobs and employers with their computer or phone, rather than needing to travel in-person from one potential employer to another, gathering up...

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Wednesday assorted links

1. Vitalik Buterin fellowships in existential safety. 2. I wanted to send this article to someone, yet no one is really an appropriate recipient, so I am putting it here (NYT). 3. Chess problem of attacking Queens is solved. 4. Memorial to a Swedish life.  Very good (and sad). 5. The rise of the biohacker (FT, the framing is excessively negative, but an interesting piece nonetheless). 6. Yes taxes really do matter (Mankiw). 7. New (free Kindle) book: The Essential UCLA School of...

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Interview with Luigi Zingales: Social Media and Antitrust

Allison Schrager has a conversation with Luigi Zingales on the subject “Break Up Big Tech? A conversation about the future of the industry” (City Journal website, September 21, 2021). Zingales makes a number of interesting points, but here’s one of them: I think the problem is that we treat Big Tech as one big issue, and we say we need to break them up. Rather, what we should do depends on what we want to accomplish, and what sector in the industry we’re taking about. Let’s start...

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What if monetary policymakers lack credibility?

Trevor Chow sent me the following questions, as a follow up to my recent post: I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding the following:1. I agree that the thought experiment shows monetary policy can set nominal aggregates as high as they would like. But I’m not entirely sure this solves the machete-scalpel problem.2. What I mean is the following. Suppose we start in a world where we’re on some nGDP growth path. Suddenly, there’s a recession (V falls/k rises) and...

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My Conversation with Amia Srinivasan

I am pleased to have had the chance to do this, as in my view she is one of the thinkers today who has a) super smarts, b) breadth and depth of reading, and c) breadth and depth of thinking.  That combination is rare!  That said, I don’t quite agree with her on everything, so this exchange had more disagreements than perhaps what you are used to sampling from CWT. Here is the transcript and audio.  Here is part of the CWT summary: Amia joined Tyler to discuss the importance of context...

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Economic Sanctions: A Reality Check

Economic sanctions is an attempt to carry out foreign policy using economic terms. It is a deliberately broad term. It includes decisions about not trading certain products with certain countries or companies, or seeking to freeze the bank accounts of countries, companies, or individuals. In political terms, one main attraction of economic sanctions is that it addresses a demand to “do something” in foreign policy in a way that doesn’t involve ordering soldiers into harms or imposing...

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Tuesday assorted links

1. Comprehensive look at why the labor share of income is declining. 2. “Our results indicate that higher education liberalizes moral concerns for most students, but it also departs from the standard liberal profile by promoting moral absolutism rather than relativism. These effects are strongest for individuals majoring in the humanities, arts, or social sciences, and for students pursuing graduate studies.”  Link here. 3. New evidence of continuing vaccine effectiveness.  And...

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The Kids Are Also Polarized

Adolescents used to identify with a party but polarization was muted by a general warmth towards authority figures. Today, however, the warmth is gone and adolescents are as polarized as adults which has implications for future polarization and generalized distrust. New paper by Iyengar and Tyler (note the data is pre-pandemic): We have shown that the onset of partisan polarization occurs early in the life cycle with very little change thereafter. Today, high levels of in-group favoritism...

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