I’m in Boston

Tyler Cowen tells me blog readers like to hear personal details.  It feels a bit odd, but hey, let’s try it sometimes.  Last weekend I held a party – some reviews here.  Today at 4:30 I’m on a Harvard panel:

This will be a debate on Bryan Caplan’s very controversial, but well-argued, book "The Myth of the Rational Voter." Panelists include Caplan and Robin Hanson (both economists from George Mason University), David Estlund (Chair of the Philosophy department at Brown, arguing the pro-democracy side), and economist Jeffrey Miron of Harvard.

Tomorrow noon I talk at MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence:

Nobel winner Robert Aumann (Econ. ’05) showed in ’76 that Bayesians with a common prior could not "agree to disagree," i.e., have common knowledge of exact yet differing opinions.  Aumann made strong  assumptions, but similar results follow from much weaker assumptions: Bayesian wannabes who believe in symmetric prior origins cannot have common belief of one of them foreseeing how another will later disagree.  I review this literature, illustrate with concrete examples, and discuss the disturbing implications for the honesty and rationality of familiar human disagreement.

I’m very much the absent-minded professor – on my last trip I lost my favorite shirt and my glasses.  I’m seriously considering lasik, to avoid the hundreds of dollars a year I spend replacing lost glasses. 

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