Friday, February 28, 2014


This sounds like a good idea, but I think the article might be exaggerating how large a change this is. I graduated from Evergreen in 1984. For each interdisciplinary program you had to write a self-evaluation and an evaluation of the program and faculty, and the faculty member that you worked with wrote an evaluation of you. Each of these evaluations was 2-4 pages. Written evaluations and serious reflection have always been the norm at Evergreen. I do, however, think this is a nice addition. It sounds like it asks students to keep the big picture in mind. It also reminds me a bit of the plans that my daughter had to do while she was at Bennington.
P.S. I looked at the Evergreen webpage, and it is great to see that Greeners still have the opportunity to work with Tom Rainey and Jeanne Hahn.

HT to Steve Greenlaw

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Problems with Bitcoin

The New York Times reports that "On Monday night, a number of leading Bitcoin companies jointly announced that Mt. Gox, the largest exchange for most of Bitcoin’s existence, was planning to file for bankruptcy after months of technological problems and what appeared to have been a major theft. A document circulating widely in the Bitcoin world said the company had lost 744,000 Bitcoins in a theft that had gone unnoticed for years. That would be about 6 percent of the 12.4 million Bitcoins in circulation."

Monday, February 24, 2014

Economic History in the News

Gregory Clark of UC Davis describes the results of his recent research in the Sunday New York Times. He uses a large amount of evidence on family names and economic status o show that reversion to the mean takes place, but it takes a long time. I thought his story seemed pretty persuasive. On the other hand, at the end he concludes that adoption studies, "along with studies of correlations across various types of siblings (identical twins, fraternal twins, half siblings) suggest that genetics is the main carrier of social status." I don't find this conclusion nearly as persuasive. The problem with adoption studies is that adoptable children are not selected at random from the population, making it difficult to say how for results can be generalized. I would like to see more direct evidence that people do not treat people with high status names differently.

Business Women

The Washington Post ran a story this morning about a company called FlexProfessionals. The business helps professionals who have been out of the labor force return to the labor force. The founder has an MBA from Harvard. the business generated over $1 million in revenue last year. This is the photograph that went with the story. I did not find the photo online; consequently, this is a picture of the photograph I took with the camera attached to my computer. It struck me as odd that they would be portrayed sitting on the floor. I do not believe that I have ever seen articles about business men that show them sitting next to each on the floor.