Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Epistemologic Question asked of Colleagues Economists, and Three Proposals in European Parliament hosted Committee of the Regions Plenary

European Commission DG ECFIN Annual Research Conference 2010--nice part of Speech by Commissioner Olli Rehn, Brussels, European Commission, November 22, 2010

European Parliament hosted Committee of the Regions Plenary, 2010--modest question, Brussels, October 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is it up to governments to mold public opinion about low carbon technologies?--Brief Interview with Euronews and European Voice

(original here

Thank you for watching... Send me an email or post a comment to learn what my daughter (who is now 11 y.o.) said about this;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy June 1 (Ziua Copilului), Mica

On June 1, may you have the most wonderful childhood, Mica. Stay strong and as passionate about the many things you like as you have been so far, and more! With all my love, Daddy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

of cups, pints, miles, kilometers... and innovative accountable governance...

In their 1998 “Understanding Policy Fiascoes” book, Mark Bovens and Paul t’Hart analyze a framework of understanding “system failure” in policy making, and test the framework on several (ex-post) high profile cases.

In his decades long work on Pragmatic Eliminative Induction, William N. Dunn offers a complementary systematic methodology meant at identifying “hidden” from the untrained eye strong relationships that not-so-well-researched factors affecting socio-economic phenomena have on these phenomena.

In their best-selling book “Freakonomics” Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner also look systematically at “the hidden side of everything”. This book offers a great popular introduction towards understanding what is called usually Quasiexperimentation (Cook and Campbell 1979)

In his classic work on the Advocacy Coalition Framework, Paul Sabatier

When children are tested for their logical reasoning, they often have to solve problems such as:

“Pint is to glass the same as ___ is to highway.” The answer is of course mile.

For non-US people that would translate of course in:

“Centiliter is to glass the same as ___ is to highway.” The answer should be kilometer instead.

Malcolm Gladwell points out in his Outliers book some interesting facts about socio-cultural and other environmental factors affecting success of individuals or behaviors of communities, and/or both. It goes without saying that the above test is by far discriminatory to anyone for whom the International System of measurements is embedded in their perception and thinking. The reasoning time necessary when working with notions outside your core “vocabulary” would be clearly much larger than for those to whom pint belongs in their core set of notions they easily understand well, from having been subjected to them for long times. Whereas a US grown child jumps straight to the core of the question, for a non-US born child it take a set of intermediary questions they need to ask and answer before ever starting addressing the core logical inference question. We mean such “elementary” questions as “what is a pint?” Except of course for the non-US child these are not that elementary. Furthermore, there may even be a negative psychological effect of the test on the non-US test taker subjected to the US focused test.

Things may get even more interesting when dealing with the “glass, cup, pint, ounce” test. Which one does not belong in the list? It turns out it is glass. Yet, cup in the above list is a very odd member of the category of volume measuring units to which it belongs. In every non-American English speaker’s mind cup can be closer to glass than it would be to pint and ounce. Cup is a measuring unit, but it is also a synonym for mug, and hence perceived as being in the same category as glass (if looking at glass as a glass of water, and not as what is a window made from).

Our question is then:

What is to truly innovative accountable governance what was the early 1970s oil crisis to highway traffic fatalities?

Moreover, what barriers to our understanding and addressing comprehensively the question are there? We mean the barriers hidden from the untrained eye, such as the ones in the above simple tests with pints and cups and glasses and mugs… Can one draw the systemic diagram of all the factors affecting our ability to trace down the core factor(s) affecting the likelihood of developing an innovative accountable governance system? What would it take?