December 15, 2009

Paul Samuelson R.I.P.

Nobel laureate, best-selling textbook author, and one of the most prominent figures in economics of the twentieth century, Paul A. Samuelson, died at the age of 94.

Twitter Queen

Queen Rania of Jordan is on Twitter.

December 8, 2009

Time-Inconsistency Problem

Today I tweeted about time-inconsistency. A friend later asked me what it is. I googled the term and found the definition from Wikipedia:

In economics, dynamic inconsistency, or time inconsistency, describes a situation where a decision-maker's preferences change over time, such that what is preferred at one point in time is inconsistent with what is preferred at another point in time...
One type of inconsistency is more closely affiliated with game theory, and "dynamic inconsistency" is the more commonly used terminology in this case. Another type of inconsistency is more closely affiliated with behavioral economics, and "time inconsistency" is the more commonly used terminology there.[vague]

Mankiw has a nice article on the game-theory sense. Though I actually used the term in the behavioral economics sense, meaning that I do not want my plan to be screwed up and myself diverted by trivia every now and then, especially during this exam period.

December 7, 2009

Federal Reserve Economic Data Gadget

The St. Louis Fed has provided a gadget that display a wide range of graphical data from read GDP to total payroll. You can search "economic data fred graph" in Google Gadgets to locate it in Google. More methods to access see the official webpage. Thank Alex Tabarrock for the pointer.

December 5, 2009

Markets in Everything

Jin Tai Cheng, a Beijing company, is offering a creative solution for prospective buyers at its "Ecological Bay" Villa project. The company encourages future homeowners to date its sales girls and promises a wedding present of RMB 60,000 to any couple that ends up getting married.
Buying a flat with a wife and a discount, how great a deal it is.

December 3, 2009

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Today is the first day Eva 2.0 is (finally!) in theaters in Hong Kong. I couldn't wait any longer and grabbed a ticket to the first show at AMC Festival Walk, our nearest cinema.

It was amazing. Unlike 1.0, the majority of the plot had been redone. The angels looked very different from the original, and the Third Impact happened right after Shinji defeated Zeruel, the fourteenth angel. The most eye-catching feature of 2.0 was probably the introduction of the new character: Mari Illustrious Makinami, with a miniskirt and stockings and eyeglasses. Not everyone likes her, but at least I do. I think the character of Asuka had changed a little from the original. I used to dislike the original Asuka, but this one in 2.0 was much more lovable. Unfortunately, she was quarantined after being infected by Bardiel, the thirteenth angel.

Nonetheless, the indisputable heroine in this movie was Rei Ayanami. It was explicit that Rei was fond of Shinji (and vice versa), and she goes as far as planning a dinner to reunion Shinji with his father, Gendo Ikari. After Rei being eaten up by Zeruel, Shinji yelled "Give Ayanami back to me!" again and again while Unit 1 destroyed the kernel of the angel and Rei was saved by Shinji. In the end, Rei, in the deified form, were hold tightly by Unit 1, now in "a form of being superior than man and close to god".

Right after the ending song, Kaworu Nagisa appeared from the sky and threw a spear (probably the Spear of Longinus) which went right through the body of Unit 1, ending of the movie.

I enjoyed this movie very much. It made possible many of my preferred improvements to the plot of the original TV series, including making Rei a more central role, and the mitigation of Asuka's character. Also, the newly introduced Mari was an attractive girl. By now, I really have no idea where this story is heading to - the Third Impact had happened, what could be next? Anyway, there are two episodes of this epic tetralogy, and it is definitely worth the wait.

Image source: / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0