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Joerg Fliege
Standing on the shoulders of giants, mostly.
Standing on the shoulders of giants, mostly.

Joerg Fliege's posts

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German plagiarism cases in the news.

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On relaxing while being an academic.

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Graduate outcomes data (i.e. employment rates, average salaries etc.) has no impact on how school pupils choose a university and a degree programme.

Well, that's certainly counterintuitive, or at least it's counterintuitive to me. Are they using other metrics like reputation and just trust that this translates into graduate outcomes? That would certainly be bad news.

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Twelve minutes of fine British swearing.

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On the recently floated soundbite of a 'pragmatic' Brexit, which is nothing more than a Brexit with a transitional period. Apparently, rabid arch-Brexiteers had to make some concessions, after both businesses and voters made their opinion known.

But in the end, Brexit is Brexit. Safe a Norway-style option (deemed to be non-Brexit by the true believers) there is only hard Brexit. A transition might cushion the fall, but a fall it will be.

And then there is the small matter of the rEU having perhaps no appetite for lengthy transitions. An untrustworthy partner like the UK might just throw the toys out of the pram mid-way through. What is there to gain?

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'MarketAxess chooses Amsterdam as EU base after Brexit' (Google headline in case of paywall.)

"MarketAxess, one of the world’s largest corporate bond trading venues, has chosen Amsterdam as its main base for the EU after the UK leaves the single market. The US group, which has a market capitalisation of more than $7bn, is to press on with plans to set up a regulated entity in the Netherlands."

This relocation is not about employees: MarketAxess has only 630 members of staff worldwide. This is about a major trading venue that trades about $1.5bn in credit products per day.

Well, Amsterdam is more beautiful than London.

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Shared so that my colleagues see it.
Critical thinking ability is a better predictor of life decisions than intelligence

"We all probably know someone who is very intelligent, but does blatantly stupid things. Despite evidence that intelligence predicts a variety of life outcomes, the relationship between intelligence and good thinking is less clear. This research explored whether critical thinking ability or intelligence was the better predictor of real life events. Community adults and college students (n = 244) completed a critical thinking assessment, an intelligence test, and an inventory of life events. Individuals with higher critical thinking scores and higher IQs reported fewer negative life events. Critical thinking more strongly predicted life events than intelligence and significantly added to the variance explained by IQ. There is ample evidence that critical thinking can be taught, so there is hope that teaching critical thinking skills might prevent the occurrence of negative life events. We advocate for critical thinking instruction as a way to create a better future for everyone."

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On perceived power.
Only 9% see the countries of the EU as top economies. Makes sense. The power of perception. We're collectively larger than China by far. But we're also collectively invested in our own perception of irrelevance. Not only do we believe we're powerless on the world stage, we need to believe we're powerless on the world stage. We need to perceive our actions as inevitably reactive. Our decisions as meaningless. Our own opinions as irrelevant. Each and every member state would prefer having to choose between the US, Russia or China than create their own position. We're more afraid of our own position on anything, than anyone else's.
And I know I am very much applying psychological stigma to the whole of the EU, but the far-right aren't wrong in one thing: There is a loose concept of European culture we all somewhat belong to. And that culture is largely devoid of a sense of self-confidence outside of some isolationist traditionalist ethno-chauvinism which is what they use to appeal to the unwashed masses in the first place.
Many of what we understand as "our modern values", have strayed away from the humanist rationality and universalism of the 19th century onward , and now only exist in opposition to political extremism and other authoritarian fads that we've managed to abandon for a brief period. But we are lacking in the original intellectual framework we need to make new ideas.
We have no position on our own future, outside survival. No concept of our own success except our economic well-being. And this extends to Romania, as much as it does to Germany.
And having been told for the last ten years that "crisis will make Europe stronger", I'll have to express skepticism that the lack of crisis will hold any solutions either. The problem is us.... well , you. I'm perfectly content with being a scrounger , I find success tedious - put me in a barrel like Diogenes and roll me down the hill , I don't care :)

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Fog in the Labour headquater, voters confused.

Corbyn: no EU membership. Tariff-free access to EU markets. Doesn't know what to think of the customs union, but associates it with EU membership. Job agencies should advertise for jobs in the locality first.

Chuka Umunna [big short Labour guy, former shadow business secretary]: the UK can remain member of the single market and the customs union. Look at Norway. Freedom of movement is here to stay.

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In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium

"Rubinstein and Yakov Babichenko, a mathematician at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa [...] proved that no method of adapting strategies in response to previous games — no matter how commonsensical, creative or clever — will converge efficiently to even an approximate Nash equilibrium for every possible game. It’s “a very sweeping negative result,” Roughgarden said.

Economists often use Nash equilibrium analyses to justify proposed economic reforms, Myerson said. But the new result says that economists can’t assume that game players will get to a Nash equilibrium, unless they can justify what is special about the particular game in question. “If you’re trying to figure out if your game will easily find an equilibrium,” said Noam Nisan, a computer scientist at the Hebrew University, “it’s on you to provide the argument why it would be.”"
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