Came across two different pieces that reminded me of Professor Ziliak this morning and wanted to throw them up on the blog.
1) John Q of Crooked Timber talks about Rawls, Bentham and the Laffer Curve. Understanding Rawlsian justice through the concept of the Laffer Curve sounds pretty strange to me– personally, I have for some time now thought that the difference principle in the Theory of Justice interesting for pointing out the lower limit of society: if the welfare of an individual does not enter into the calculations of public action, that individual is not part of society, and is, moreover, not counted as having rights. Quiggin takes an entirely different view of Rawls, one that implies that we ought to have a top marginal tax rate of 73% (which sounds great to me, but politically impossible.)
2) The Environmental Economist has not apparently heard about the Cult of Statistical Significance. In a post citing all-too-familiar evidence about economists obsessed with statistical significance and error terms, we also read about the exciting new possibilities of data coming out of computer science these days. Also, what the heck is a neural net?