Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, October 16, 2021

If nothing else, the past couple of years have demonstrated how economics follow patterns that owe more to chaos theory than predictive modeling. And the recent Nobel Prize winners are an acknowledgement of this:

What this year’s prize does clearly indicate is that the Nobel committee believes economic theory is messy and getting messier… The last Nobel awarded for an all-encompassing mathematical theory of how the economic world fits together was to Robert Lucas in 1995 for his work on rational expectations. Since then… the Nobel crew has chosen to honor either interesting economic side projects or work that muddies the elegance of those grand postwar theories of rational actors buying and selling under conditions of perfect competition.

The variables outnumber the known quantities, and the Nobel hardware validates this chipping-away analysis. The dismal science is also a scattershot one.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/16/2010 08:10pm
Category: Business, Creative, Society
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suck on it kid
As someone who was practically raised by television, I’ve known the hypnotic soothing of the videoscreen all my life. Nowadays, toddlers are getting the same palliative satisfaction via their parents’ iPhones:

Kelsey would ask for it. Then she’d cry for it. “It was like she’d always want the phone,” [mother Natasha] Sykes said. After a six-hour search one day, she and her husband found the iPhone tucked away under Kelsey’s bed. They laughed. But they also felt vague concern. Kelsey, and her 2-year-old brother, Chase, have blocks, Legos, bouncing balls, toy cars and books galore. (“They love books,” Ms. Sykes said.) But nothing compares to the iPhone.

“If they know they have the option of the phone or toys, it will be the phone,” Ms. Sykes said.

I’ve run into this phenomenon, and I don’t even have kids. Friends and relatives have conditioned their little tykes to regard a smartphone as more of a toy than a tech tool. That’s fine for them, as I’m sure the little ones need constant distraction, and handing over the iPhone falls under parental duties.

Where it bites me: Whenever I whip out my iPhone while around these youngsters, it’s like a feeding frenzy. They often start demanding my phone so that they can play a game on it — and often, a game I don’t even have, but that their parents do on their devices (an interesting perception by the kiddies, in that they expect iPhones to be uniform media platforms). Regardless, I have a problem with some grubby little monkey making that grab. It’s my iPhone, and while I play with it often enough, that doesn’t mean I want little fingers smudging up the screen. Especially little fingers attached to uncoordinated little hands, who are apt to drop the iPhone (probably while fighting over it) and end up costing me a few hundred bucks to replace it.

So, I come off like Uncle Selfish Dickhead for refusing to share my 3GS. And half the time, the parents give me the evil eye for not going along with this cellular enabling.

I suppose I could start carrying around my old iPod Touch, to use as a decoy. I wouldn’t care as much if that iToy bit the dust. Still, who figured child development would create such a treacherous terrain for mobile phoning?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/16/2010 06:42pm
Category: Society, Tech, iPhone
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