Social Media Enabling Loss Aversion

Recently, I was listening to the podcast “This American Life.”  You have probably heard about it, it’s a podcast given by Ira Glass where he tells someone’s story.  The particular one I was listening to was a unique one. it was called “Not Fair!” and its focus was on referees.  No one likes referees, at one point in your life they probably made a call in a sport you cared about against a team you cared about.  Even if you have never watched sports in your life, you probably are aware of peoples’ distaste for referees.  Recently, hatred for refs Continue reading Social Media Enabling Loss Aversion

Diseconomies of scope in Track

For those who don’t know I run track and field.  Recently me and my coach were deciding how many races to run at conference, specifically whether to run two or one race.  This is a surprising complicated problem.  This is because there are many factors, the primary two factors are 1.)how runners are in a given race, and 2.)how much the first race will tire me out.  In this decision there are two economic applications/effects; diseconomies of scale and game theory First, let me explain why the number of competitors matter.  Obviously, the more people enter in a races the Continue reading Diseconomies of scope in Track

Dynamic Stability and Recursion

Economics and computer science overlap in surprising frequency.  Most of it is computational; calculating equilibrium, maximizing profit, etc.  Computer science has even integrated into economics through R. Comp sci can make things easier and there’s a wide range of economic applications.  Recently I observed one of these applications. It began when I was studying for my computer science test There was a subject on this test called recursion.  In practice recursion is very difficult, and as any students know, just because you take a test on it, doesn’t mean you understand it. While the application can be difficult, the concept Continue reading Dynamic Stability and Recursion

Monk’s Loss

Recently I was watching a show called “Monk.”  It’s one of those 2000’s USA detective shows.  The rough premise of the show is about an amazing detective (Monk) with obsessive compulsive disorder and a number of phobias.  Most of the show is him coping with his crippling disorders and the world not accommodating him.  Of course, each episode is capped off with him solving some absurd/extreme murder mystery.  The way he solves mysteries is also congruent with his disorders.  This one episode where his therapist offers him amazing medication.  This was music to Monk’s ears, because he hates his OCD Continue reading Monk’s Loss

The Paradox of Voting (Part 2)

We left off two weeks ago talking about gerrymandering.  I demonstrated how a non-majority group could be distributed to have the majority in groupings.  This is exactly what your state legislature does when he/she draws redistricting lines.  They obviously gerrymander for the favor of their political party, by targeting either people who voted for a given party, or demographics.  An example of this is Florida’s 5th congressional district.  This district is considered one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the country.  The district contains 47.69% black people which is 31% more than Florida’s general demographic.  This shows that someone Continue reading The Paradox of Voting (Part 2)

The Paradox of Voting (part 1)

The choice to vote can be seen as a voluntary contribution mechanism.  This isn’t a perfect perspective, but it hold the basic concept. The payoff would be amount of democracy or a leader that accurately depicts their representatives.  From this perspective our voting system could be considered very successful. Convincing a little less than half a nation to contribute to a VCM game is impressive. clarification: the nash equilibrium isn’t zero.  As less and less people vote the more your vote matters, eventually surpassing the cost of going out and voting. Why do so many people vote?  In the recent Continue reading The Paradox of Voting (part 1)

Do Mathematicians do Economics Better?

In my optimization class we were talking about maximin problems.  A maximin problem is a problem that maximizes the lowest outcome (maximize f when f(x1,x2,…xn) = min{x1,x2,…xn}.  Our professor made the claim that “… economics is focused on maximin problems or should be focused on”. I felt like this statement grossly understated my major and the range of economics.  Even the optimization problems we face in economics have a wide variety such as profit optimization, game theoretical optimization, utility optimization, etc. not to mention the other sectors of economics that don’t include optimization.  However, he does deserve some credit. Maximin Continue reading Do Mathematicians do Economics Better?

Why Running is Becoming (more) Boring; Breakdown Game Theory Style

If you have ever been to a cross country race, or a track meet, you know endurance running is boring.  Runners can be going very slow and it’s hard to know how impressive it is, especially the races that take 20+ minutes. Recently championship races are getting harder and harder to watch, races that had audiences that spanned outside the running community.  Specifically, I’m talking about races such as the olympics, D1 nationals or the IAAF championship. The short answer: the races have been getting slower. The confusing part is that the runners are not getting slower, just these races.  The Continue reading Why Running is Becoming (more) Boring; Breakdown Game Theory Style