Posts Tagged With: Books & Reviews

More books out of the library

It's 1 Am and I'm too lazy to add links, maybe later Tyler Cowen, Discover Your Inner Economist. Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion. Explain how large deposits of a valuable resource (diamonds, oil) can hurt the economies of a poor country. Dean Smith, The Carolina Way - Read to get better at coaching.

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10% Off at the Penn Bookstore

To get 10% off all purchases at the Penn Bookstore, simply tell the cashier you are a Barnes & Noble club member. They don't ask for your phone number or anything. Update: Unfortunately I think this was one nice cashier before school started, who gave me a discount. You can always ask for a discount; sometimes people are nice and they give you one. I'll be buying my books either at BetterThanTheBookstore or at Amazon.

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Vacation Reading

Vacation reading for me is work for 99% of the population. The Wages of Wins, by Berri, Schmidt, and Brook Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy The Undercover Economist, by Tim Harford (Econ 1 for non-academics) Capitalism & Freedom, by Milton Friedman. Rest in peace. Wages of Wins was particularly eye-opening. Three economists took a look at what determined player pay in the NBA, and figured out that salary was mainly based on player pay, not any measure of efficiency or how much that player contributed to team wins. Essentially, there's a lot more to the game than simply scoring points - if you score 50 points but take 70 shots and turn the ball over 20 times, you are not helping your team. The economists took a look at the NBA and figured out a formula for how many wins each player on a team produced. It was a really interesting book. Basically the NBA is due for a Money-ball like revolution, but it hasn't happened yet.

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Guess the date

"Our political life is becoming so expensive, so mechanized and so dominated by professional politicians and public relations men that the idealist who dreams of independent statesmanship is rudely awakened by the necessities of election and accomplishment. And our public life is becoming so increasingly centered upon that seemingly unending war...that we tend to encourage rigid ideological unity and orthodox patterns of thought. "And thus, in the days ahead, only the very courageous will be able to take the hard and unpopular decisions necessary for our survival in the struggle with a powerful enemy....And only the very [bold] will be able to keep alive the spirit of individualism and dissent which gave birth to this nation, nourished it as an infant and carried it through the severest tests upon the attainment of its maturity. "Of course, it would be much easier if we could continue to think in traditional political patterns...It would be more comfortable to continue to move and vote in platoons, joining whomever of our colleagues are equally enslaved by some current fashion, raging prejudice, or popular movement. But today this nation cannot tolerate such lazy political habits. Only the strength and progress and peaceful change that come from independent judgment and individual ideas - and even from the unorthodox and the eccentric - can enable us to surpass that foreign ideology that fears free thought more than it fears [bombs]." Would you be surprised to learn this was written in 1960? John F. Kennedy knew how to use words.

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