Read - Reading: Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide by Scott Huettel (The Great Courses)
Lectue 9: Temporal Discounting—Now or Later?
Now consider a fundamental challenge in decisions involving time: temporal discounting, or the human tendency to view rewards as worth less in the future than they are in the present. Study real-life examples of this phenomenon, three explanations for why it occurs, and key approaches to making better time-related decisions.
Finished lecture 9. This is a pretty dense lecture, I’ll circle back around on it at least one more time for notes.

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Read - Reading: Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide by Scott Huettel (The Great Courses)
Lecture 8: Ambiguity—The Unknown Unknowns
In behavioral economics, “ambiguity” refers to conditions in decision making in which we do not know and cannot estimate the probabilities of potential outcomes. Here, investigate three circumstances in decision making that produce ambiguity: “hidden information,” “asymmetrical knowledge,” and “unfamiliar contexts.” Then, learn a two-step approach for dealing effectively with ambiguity.
Finished lecture 8 on ambiguity
Interesting applications to insurance here and some good reasons why the market and capitalism won’t help fix some problems.

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Read - Reading: Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide by Scott Huettel (The Great Courses)
Lecture 7: Risk—The Known Unknowns
Tolerance for risk is another fundamental element of decision making. Learn how behavioral economics evaluates “risk aversion” and “risk seeking” in both economic and personal contexts, and grasp the role of perceived benefits and perceived risks in explaining risk-taking behavior and choices. Finally, study two basic principles for managing risk.
Finished lecture 7 on risk and minimizing regret

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Read - Reading: Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide by Scott Huettel (The Great Courses)
Lecture 6: Probability Weighting
"Probability weighting” describes how people tend to convert objective information about probability into a subjective sense of what may happen—which can lead to bias and error. Observe how this applies to real-life situations such as buying life or travel insurance, and learn two tools to change how you deal with probabilities.
Finished lecture 6 on probability and availability heuristic/bias

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Read - Reading: Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide by Scott Huettel (The Great Courses)
Lecture 5: Range Effects—Changing the Scale
The principle of “range effects” describes how the relative difference between two quantities becomes less meaningful as the absolute values of those quantities get larger. Grasp how this phenomenon explains apparent inconsistencies in human behavior, and how its existence is linked to our biology. Learn specific steps you can take to minimize its unwanted influence on your decisions.
Relistened to lecture 5

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RSVPed Attending The Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on the Healthcare Industry: A Panel Discussion

Sponsored by the Healthcare Affinity & Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

At a time when the nation is looking to the healthcare industry for leadership and service, the pandemic has led to a significant impact on the U.S. healthcare job market. Historically, the healthcare industry has been relatively immune from recessions. However, as services have been cut, income streams have been lost. Join us as our panel of speakers discuss the economic impacts of the pandemic on the healthcare industry. This event will be presented on Zoom.

September 16, 2020 at 03:00PM - September 16, 2020 at 04:00PM

Read Dear Google Cloud: Your Deprecation Policy is Killing You by Steve Yegge (Medium)
God dammit, I didn’t want to blog again. I have so much stuff to do. Blogging takes time and energy and creativity that I could be putting…

Backwards compatibility keeps systems alive and relevant for decades. 

Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 10:50AM

In the Emacs world (and in many other domains, some of which we’ll explore below), when they make an API obsolete, they are basically saying: “You really shouldn’t use this approach, because even though it works, it suffers from various deficiencies which we enumerate here. But in the end it’s your call.” 

Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 10:57AM

Successful long-lived open systems owe their success to building decades-long micro-communities around extensions/plugins, also known as a marketplace. 

This could be said of most early web standards like HTML as well…
Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 10:58AM

It’s a sure sign, when there are four or five different coexisting subsystems for doing literally the same thing, that underlying it all is a commitment to backwards compatibility. Which in the Platforms world, is synonymous with commitment to your customers, and to your marketplace. 

This same sort of thing applies to WordPress for its backwards compatibility. Sometimes it’s annoying, but their adherence to backwards compatibility has kept them strong. They also have multiple ways of doing things, which is nice.

I wonder if there were some larger breaking changes in Drupal 7 and 8 that removed their backwards compatibility and thereby lost them some older websites?
Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 11:03AM

So let’s say Apple pulls a Guido and breaks compatibility. What do you think will happen? Well, maybe 80–90% of the developers will rewrite their software, if they’re lucky. Which is the same thing as saying, they’re going to lose 10–20% of their user base to some competing language, e.g. Flutter.Do that a few times, and you’ve lost half your user base. And like in sports, momentum in the programming world is everything. Anyone who shows up on the charts as “lost half their users in the past 5 years” is being flagged as a Big Fat Loser. You don’t want to be trending down in the Platforms world. But that’s exactly where deprecation — the “removing APIs” kind, not the “warning but permitting” kind — will get you, over time: Trending down. Because every time you shake loose some of your developers, you’ve (a) lost them for good, because they are angry at you for breaking your contract, and (b) given them to your competitors. 

Twitter is a good example of this, and they’ve just created a shiny new API in an apparent attempt to bring developers back…

Wonder if it’s going to be backwards compatible? (Probably not…)
Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 11:10AM

I’ve alluded to the deeply philosophical nature of this problem; in a sense, it’s politicized within the software communities. Some folks believe that platform developers should shoulder the costs of compatibility, and others believe that platform users (developers themselves) should bear the costs. It’s really that simple. And isn’t politics always about who has to shoulder costs for shared problems?So it’s political. And there will be angry responses to this rant. 

This idea/philosophy cuts across so many different disciplines. Is there a way to fix it? Mitigate it? An equation for maximizing it?
Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 11:14AM

Listened to Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide, Lecture 2: The Rise of Behavioral Economics from Great Courses
Grasp how behavioral economics uses methods from both economics and psychology to better understand biases and anomalies in decision making—factors that “rational choice” models don’t explain. Learn three core experimental principles of behavioral economics, and about Prospect Theory, which helps explain what human beings value.
8% done; Finished lecture 2
Still some overview and basic intro. Hope it picks up soon.
Listened to Behavioral Economics When Psychology and Economics Collide — Lecture 1: What Is a Good Decision? by Scott HuettelScott Huettel from The Great Courses
Begin by examining “rational choice” models of decision making from traditional economics, which assume consistent, foresighted, and self-interested decision makers. Then consider how this concept fails to explain many human decisions that appear counterintuitive or paradoxical. Identify two fundamental limitations that challenge our decision-making process.
4% done; Finished Lecture 1
Fairly facile introduction from my perspective. Didn’t learn anything new here.
Read Sweden Has Become the World’s Cautionary Tale (nytimes.com)
Its decision to carry on in the face of the pandemic has yielded a surge of deaths without sparing its economy from damage — a red flag as the United States and Britain move to lift lockdowns.
Interesting to watch these mini-experiments being run out in real-time.
Read The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi CoatesTa-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic)
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
I’m both glad and terribly sad to see this six year old article trending in the top 10 articles in The Atlantic right now.

I’m reading it for the reasons that most may be. I’m also specifically reading it (in the dead dark of night) in commemoration of of the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre today.

We definitely need to start a broader discussion about our social and moral conundrum or we’re doomed to continue the same stupid cycle we’ve been experiencing for centuries now. We’re America. We’re better and smarter than this.

This was definitely a long read, so for those who may not have the time, there’s an audio/podcast version you can listen to:


debt peonage 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peon

Annotated on May 31, 2020 at 11:51PM

In Cold War America, homeownership was seen as a means of instilling patriotism, and as a civilizing and anti-radical force. “No man who owns his own house and lot can be a Communist,” claimed William Levitt, who pioneered the modern suburb with the development of the various Levittowns, his famous planned communities. “He has too much to do.”But the Levittowns were, with Levitt’s willing acquiescence, segregated throughout their early years. 

I’d never heard of the background of these Levittowns, but I’m not super surprised to recall that Bill O’Reilly’s family apparently moved to Levittown, Long Island in 1951. It explains a missing piece I had in his background.

Annotated on June 01, 2020 at 12:53AM

But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as—if not more than—the specific answers that might be produced. An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America’s maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders. 

Annotated on June 01, 2020 at 01:46AM

Annotated An Open Letter to Marc Andreessen and Rap Genius by dwhly dwhly (Hypothesis)
The lessons of Twitter and Facebook, other Internet-scale basic service layers that most of us use, are instructive here. After the honeymoon period is over, and disruptive returns need to be generated to pay off limited partners or satisfy public shareholders, the tensions that these monetization efforts create ultimately seem to separate the motivations of management from those of users and the broader ecosystem. How will Rap Genius–and Marc Andreessen–navigate these questions? 
This is probably the question of the past two decades which many companies are only beginning to realize.

Watched Thinking Historically: A Guide to Statecraft and Strategy from YouTube

Francis Gavin, the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS, argues that history can be employed to better understand and improve statecraft and strategy. It is not a history of a particular event, person, place, or process. Nor is it strictly a discussion about methodology, or how to do historical work effectively. Instead, he explores something he calls “historical sensibility.” Visit www.jhu.edu/hopkinsathome/ to see more lectures.

What a fascinating lecture with some questions and answers. I managed to catch it among many others in the JHU YouTube feed, but I’ll have to take a look at some of their other upcoming programs. 

There’s a lot of hope subtly hiding in this lecture.

I’m hoping that even once the crisis of the pandemic is over that Johns Hopkins will realize what an awesome program this is and continue it on afterwards. It manages to put together the ideas of blogging, vlogging, thought pieces in magazines, academic lectures, and even the idea of Public Television programming into an interesting and engaging format. I like that there are some fascinating broad ideas and themes to delve into. 

The broader themes of historical sensibility, chronological proportionality, and historical revisionism deserve a lot more attention and thought.

See also my wiki notes from the lecture.