Randy Pausch, 1960-2008

I’m just one of the millions who watched his Last Lecture (thank you Karen for pointing it out to me). Rest in peace, Randy. I wish for strength for Randy’s family. He went out with a bang, I only wish I could emulate him when the time comes.

I learnt the sad news via FriendFeed.com, here is a link to a news item.

Michael Nielsens’ essay on the future of science

Boy, my impulsive action to sign up for FriendFeed.com has led to the discovery of lots (too much) very interesting stuff. There is a much higher signal/noise ratio there than in Facebook. Here’s one such discovery, mostly so that I will remember to read it and comment on it later.

Google launches Knol

Various high-visibility tech people I follow on friendfeed.com are pointing out that Google Knol, a combination of Wikipedia and Squidoo, has launched. The main idea is to get experts to write articles on their areas of expertise, eponymously. Both Wired and Mashable have reviews; Wired’s review is lengthy and very informative. I am considering signing up to write stuff for Knol. You can find Knol at http://knol.google.com/k#.

But right now I need to get back to my book writing.

Review of two books on “behavioral economics”

The term “behavioral economics” as commonly used is stupid, because all economics is about behavior. Phew, that’s off my chest then (and it’s not even my obervation, I think I read an essay by Robert Aumann that included it).

But call it what you may, this brand of economics is the revolution-du-jour in the field. Two books on some of its aspects get a thorough and very thoughtful review by Alan Wolfe in this article in the New Republic. It takes a while to read it, but it is packed with deep observations and well written. People like my nephew Dominick, who is very taken by Dan Ariely’s book, one of the two the review is about, are the ideal audience for the review.