Pretty much the most interesting blog on the Internet.— Prof. Steven Landsburg

Once you get past the title, and the subtitle, and the equations, and the foreign quotes, and the computer code, and the various hapax legomena, a solid 50% English content!—The Proprietor

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Favorite Joke

One of the author’s favorite jokes was usedProbably. to illustrate the issue of incentive incompatibility in one of the popular economics books by one of the author’s favorite liberalNow that those who purloined that word have sufficiently soiled it by their actions that they no longer wish to be associated with it, can we have it back please? We’ll restore its honor and bring usage in the modern English-speaking world back into conformance with history and the rest of the world. economics professor bloggers.Now, not that one. The other one. David Friedman’s popular books on law and economics, Hidden Order and Law’s Order, are on par with Landsburg’s fine work in the genre. They are wonderful introductions to the subject for the intelligent layman, but will contain details and connections which will enlighten even the well-versed. Friedman’s more recondite The Machinery of Freedom (now available in a new edition and for free!) had, along with his father’s Capitalism and Freedom, had a formative influence on the author when he was a boy. It did not quite convert him from minarchism to anarcho-capitalism, but convinced him that it was a serious possibility. At present, one desires merely to shrink the government to a size that it could be drowned in a bathtub, to be followed with a long and interesting discussion about whether one proceed along that line.

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Universal Theorem Prover

Gödel Machine

When the author was a boy, he wrote a universal theorem prover. Given enough time and memory, it would prove every theorem in large parts of mathematics. Strangely, this did not put all mathematicians out of business.