Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:June:05 Sunday <Saturday, Monday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2005/6/5-6 [Finance] UID:37973 Activity:moderate
6/5     "Freakonomics" correlates legally available safe abortion with
        reductions in U.S. crime rates.  Discuss.
        \_ Those guys have a nytimes column now.  Todays is interesting.
           Monkeys paying money for sex.
        \_ I think it not only correlates, but makes an argument for
           causation.  I think it's fairly clever. -- ilyas
        \_ I just saw the author of Freakonomics on cspan and was thinking
           about reading the book. How is it?
        \_ Their experiment about the monkey "prefering" one type of "gamble"
           is stupid.  The monkeys simply don't understand the concept
           "owing", it is not proof of the truth that sometimes people value
           things they have over things they don't.
           \_ Many mammals understand the concept of ownership sufficiently
              to fight for things they think they 'own.'  For example food,
              territory, or mates. -- ilyas
                  \- it isnt offered as proof of something humans do. the
                     monkey reasearcher is repeating a famous study in
                     behavior economics [behavioral = how people make
                     decisions in the real world vs. normative econ =
                     how people *should* make decisions.] which showed
                     certain kinds of "systemic irrationalities" like
                     people being risk averse in the domain of gains but
                     risk accepting in the domain of losses. you can search
                     for kahneman, loss aversion endowment effect prospect
                     theory. note also this is *behavioral* research so it
                     is about observation not proof. you can prove A has a
                     higher expectation value than B but you can only measure
                     the rate at which A is preferred to B. BTW, some of the
                     important work by d kahneman and amos tversky has UCB
                     roots. for more complex phenomenon, see ALLAIS PARADOX.
                     that is not as cool as a newcombe paradox but is still
                     pretty cool. ok tnx.
                     \_ my point is that this experiment (as explained in the
                        NYT article anyway), is *not* analogous to those
                        experiments.  It makes the faulty assumption that the
                        animals understand that the transaction they are
                        entering into or turning down.  Also, I am not saying
                        that these monkeys are incapable of understanding
                        the concept of "owing", just that it is unlikely that
                        they do in this case.  Also, the transaction, as
                        explained, can not be considered "gambling", since
                        there seems to be only a win proposition and no
                        loss proposition.  If i flip a coin and you give me
                        a $ if it is heads and take nothing if I lose, that
                        isn't really gambling.  Unless the monkeys had a
                        chance to cash in half a grape, or I am otherwise
                        missing something, this experiment is lame.
                        (I'd like to read some other description of the
                        experiment, besides that of the NYT so, if you have
                        a link i'd be appreciative).
                        \- if i offer you a dollar or a chance a 50/50
                           chance to win 0, $2 that may not be Vega$ style
                           gambling but it is "decisionmaking under
                           gambling but it is "decision making under
                           uncertainty" which what is colloquially being
                           termed gambling. nobody is saying monkeys
                           do NPV calculations and have a sophisticated notion
                           of future discount ... this isnt like the famous
                           Rader POW econ paper but these are smart guys with
                           a sophisticated awareness of the limits of what
                           they are doing. you cant expect an NYT article
                           to have all the ness disclaimers. i think all they
                           are saying is monkey's seem to have some element
                           of pareto optimization and operating on the
                           production possibility frontier. nobody is saying
                           they are going to invent hedges against deprecating
                           silver disks.
           \_ Many mammals understand the concept of ownership sufficiently
              to fight for things they think they 'own.'  For example food,
              territory, or mates. -- ilyas
                \_ i said Owing, not owning.
2005/6/5-6 [Transportation/Airplane] UID:37974 Activity:nil
6/5     Mendocino Travel Report: Took 580 -> 101S -> 1. Total travel time,
        including an hour of scattered food and view stops: 6 hours. There
        was _no_ traffic on 1, but between the incredibly curvy roads and
        the spectacular views, we hardly averaged 30mph the whole way up.
        Returned on 1 -> 128 -> 101 -> 580, and the trip was a mere 3 hours,
        including silly traffic slowth around Santa Rosa. --erikred
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:June:05 Sunday <Saturday, Monday>