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Labour rigour and high standards for all

Via House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 Jun 2012, remarks you would not make up: We on the Opposition Benches believe in rigour and high standards for all, but we also believe in a broad curriculum that prepares young people for work, so we will set a series of tests to ensure that the changes meet both. First, Labour wants higher literacy and numeracy standards. The key is to raise teaching quality across the board. Is there any reason to […]

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Economics and mathematical models

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The mathematical methods of recent economics did not predict or prevent the current crisis. Should we look for a better way? Mathematical modeling has revealed itself to be a vain and formalistic exercise incapable of explaining the international currency crises, stock-market and real-estate bubbles, or the global financial crises that have racked our world in the past two decades. It is increasingly evident, even to professional economists, that the tortuous positivist detour has led to an intellectual dead end. Hence, bizarre […]

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The modern-day Malthusian: resources vs simple arithmetic

Bumped up from first posting on 17 Dec 2007, as I reflect again on sustainability. See also Wikipedia for an introduction, Jancovici for a summary of a classic treatise, and Friedman for an alternative, if now old, perspective. Albert Bartlett: The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. I dare you not to watch them all, if you watch the first 2 1/2 minutes. Also here.

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