David Warsh on complexity and economics

Lynne Kiesling David Warsh’s Economic Principals column this week is about complexity, and the study of complexity in economics. It is as informative and insightful as Warsh’s columns usually are, despite its selective coverage. He highlights some ideas that I think are important for the future direction of economics — the isolation of the twin … More David Warsh on complexity and economics

Group theory, visualization, and mattress longevity

Lynne Kiesling Steve Strogatz is a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell and a master of explaining abstract mathematical principles to non-mathematicians. He also posts occasionally on the New York Times’ Opinionator blog, and his post on Sunday was a real treat. Using the domestic conundrum of how to flip your mattress to maximize its … More Group theory, visualization, and mattress longevity

Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Not exactly making friends and influencing people

Michael Giberson From WSJ Environmental Capital: When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons. Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks … More Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Not exactly making friends and influencing people

Grant McCracken: Concatenating capitalism

Lynne Kiesling Grant McCracken always has insightful interpretations of various human/social phenomena, and in this recent post he offers one that he calls “concatenating capitalism“. In discussing “eco-entrepreneur” Joshua Onysko and his work developing his Pangea Organics products, Grant makes a decidedly beyond-Schumpeterian observation about the role of entrepreneurs in transforming the economy and the … More Grant McCracken: Concatenating capitalism

Emergent orders are all around us, especially in cities

Lynne Kiesling Ron Bailey’s Hit & Run post, Ant Hills=Brains=Cities, reminded me of some really important, fundamental ideas that tend to get lost as we natter about financial regulation, health care regulation, climate regulation … Emergent orders abound, and occur at all sorts of different scales — molecular, cellular, all the way to complex social … More Emergent orders are all around us, especially in cities