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The Madness and Wisdom of Crowds

The always-interesting Marginal Revolution is adding another blogger: James Surowiecki, author of the new book The Wisdom of Crowds. The title immediately brings to mind books like the classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds. So what's going on here? Are these crowds wise or mad? Here's my take. Read more »

Is it a Volunteer Army?

A new lawsuit will force the federal courts to decide whether the military's stop-loss policy is legal. The policy basically says that tours of duty end if and when the FedGov wants them to end, and not before. A key point seems to be that while stop-loss is legal during times of war, Congress has not declared a war or a national emergency. Read more »

Catallarchy feed on LiveJournal

Since I know lots of people who only read LiveJournal blogs, I've added a Catallarchy feed there. There was one, but it pointed to the old (pre-WP) RSS link, and I don't know how to change an RSS -> LJ mapping. So I just made a new one, user catallarchy_wp.

Filtered News

Over on LJ, Candid compares getting news from MSNBC with only getting it from the internet: Read more »

Lower Risk = Greater Return

While researching index funds, I came across this graph:

Airline Terrorism Insurance

You've probably read Annie Jacobsen's frightful tale about the band of Syrian musicians with whom she shared a flight. Over at Slate, Steve Landsburg (one of my favorite economists) has a suggestion to make such situations go more smoothly: Read more »

Patri Friedman\'s Bio

[View all of Patri's Catallarchy posts]

Patri Friedman grew up near Philadelphia, but moved to California for college and has been on the left coast ever since. While he has a BS in Math from HMC and an MS in CS from Stanford, and works as a software engineer at Google, he blogs about politics and economics. (And unlike some econ professors he knows, Patri's actually taken a couple econ classes.) Read more »

Why Redistribute Inefficiently?

When I was younger, I used to get mad at liberal ideas for moral reasons. "Its wrong to steal my property!" I would proclaim. Now that I've grown up and become a consequentalist, I get mad about different things. Its OK if most people have different aims for society than me, but why do they choose such terrible methods of pursuing them? Read more »